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Girls Empowerment Leadership Initiative

April 19, 2023 @ 9:00 am 5:00 pm

Welcome to the Girls Empowerment Leadership Initiative – also known as GELI! 

Applications are now live – Register now to secure your spot. 

Volunteers are also needed. Please email Shalaya West, MCSW Program and Research Director, at Shalaya.West@mass.gov to volunteer.

What is GELI?

Here at the MCSW, we’re committed to building the future of the Commonwealth – starting by investing in our girls and gender expansive youth ages 14-22. Our programs help us guide policy recommendations to legislators and government agencies that will directly address inequities impacting women and girls to enhance opportunities for them in all aspects of life.

GELI seeks to empower youth across the Commonwealth to advocate for themselves and their communities. This initiative focuses on developing leadership and civic engagement skills through educational workshops, skill-building opportunities, and the opportunity to connect with peers across the state.

GELI 2023

This year’s GELI interactive programming will take place in-person on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Applications are now live! Register now.

Participants will gain confidence, explore their leadership styles, and expand their legislative advocacy skills by attending the full day of in-person activities that include a welcome breakfast, break-out sessions led by MCSW State and Regional Commissioners as well as youth programming experts, a networking lunch to engage with their peers, and participate in an exciting end-of-day celebration.

The tools participants learn during GELI will be imperative to their daily future selves but will also provide them the skills to participate in MCSW’s Girls’ Track during our Annual Advocacy Day at the State House on May 31, 2023.     

2023 Program Objective:

Equip youth with the skills to advocate and express their concerns and needs of their community. This is achieved by a workshop series that will provide coaching and training in the follow areas: Self-esteem and confidence building, advocacy and leadership. Here is a preview of the intended program schedule:  


  • Girls+ ages 14-22 years old
  • Target goal is 50-100 participants
  • Staff, commissioners, and community partners like Ignite National will support programming/planning needs.


  • 1-day, in-person event during School Vacation Week and hosted on Wednesday April 19, 2023.
  • Training during vacation week will prepare youth to advocate at the State House on Advocacy Day on May 31, 2023. 


Event Schedule:

  • 9:00am-9:30am: Registration/Breakfast
  • 9:30am-10am: Welcome Remarks  
  • 10:15am-11:15am: Public Speaking 101 
  • 11:15am-12:15pm:  Advocacy with Ignite National 
  • 12:30pm-1:30pm:  Lunch Life Skills Round Table and Networking  
  • 1:45pm-2:45pm: Advocacy at MCSW 
  • 3:00pm-5:00pm: Celebration & Debrief  
  • 5:00pm-5:30pm: Load Buses

Register now

You Will Need

Any doctor-approved medications as needed, layers to be comfortable indoors.

125 Providence Street
Worecester, 01604 United States
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