Live the Change


How does the Butterfly Leadership Program work? 


The Butterfly Leadership Program creates safe space

Employing the tried-and-true structure of small circles of 10 – 20 participants, we acknowledge that girls and young women come to our circles from different social backgrounds, and take time to introduce ourselves and to learn about each other in a respectful way.

We establish and maintain ground rules of respect and make sure that each member of the circle knows that she is valued, and that she can voice any concerns that may arise, either individually to the circle facilitator, or to the group as a whole.


The Butterfly Leadership Program is Writing-Intensive

We use specially designed writing prompts to create opportunities for teen girls to thoughtfully explore their own ideas, the individual and social challenges they may be facing, and their potential to become leaders in creating the world they want to live in. Participants are encouraged to share their writing with each other in pairs and small groups, and are taught how to respond to each other’s words and ideas using positive feedback and productive questioning techniques.


The Butterfly Leadership Program Moves from Page to Stage

We support girls in discovering their own passions, and becoming effective, compelling speakers on the topics they care about most. Through writing, discussion and public speaking exercises, we build a strong foundation that will support even the shyest girl to step boldly from the written to the spoken word and share her ideas with an audience.


The Butterfly Leadership Program is Collaborative

In the 21st century, we are moving from a top-down hierarchical model of leadership, to a creative, collaborative approach that values productive teamwork among talented individuals. Communication is essential to successful collaboration, and in our leadership circles participants learn how to engage and inspire each other, and how to work together to overcome obstacles, accomplish tasks and reach their goals.

We help girls discover that there is, indeed, strength in numbers. While academic settings often use competition as a strategy to push towards excellence, our programs offer opportunities to work towards shared goals, such as creating group performances, writing multi-authored pieces, and finding collective solutions to personal and political problems. At the Butterfly Leadership Program, we believe that we are most excellent when we are most connected.


The Butterfly Leadership Program Develops Confidence

Creative leadership requires knowledge, skills, and commitment, but equally important is confidence. We know that confidence comes through repetition and positive feedback, and our participants come to believe in themselves as they experience the encouragement and positive reinforcement of the group. As they hone their skills in writing and public speaking, and learn methods of positive feedback and respectful social engagement, the confidence they need to step into their full potential as leaders naturally blossoms.


The Butterfly Leadership Program Is Not Only Rewarding, It’s Also Fun!

Through thoughtful writing prompts, opportunities for sharing and discussion, and positive public speaking exercises, participants in the Butterfly Leadership circles come to know and respect each other in ways that inspire close and lasting friendships. Although the work we do together is serious, we aim to show that hard work and dedication can actually be fun—especially when undertaken in the spirit of creative collaboration among peers.