Ruth Jones, a Colorado College senior from Denver, was one of just 51 students in the United States chosen to attend the Kellogg Collegiate Women of Color Leadership Institute this fall in Baltimore. The conference, sponsored by the Foundation for Independent Higher Education, is part of a yearlong program that identifies campus leaders among women of color who are seniors at independent colleges across the nation. The program helps prepare these women for future leadership roles.
“It was so inspirational to be in the company of so many young aspiring black women leaders,” said Jones, who was assigned a mentor who will work with her throughout her senior year. ”There were women who were successful business owners, CEOs of multi-million dollar corporations, Peace Corps alumni, and CEOs of non-profit organizations. As a black woman who is trying to decide what step to take next, I found the diversity among women extremely powerful. It allowed me to think outside of the box, rather than confine myself to typical roles of success and leadership.”
Participants were awarded a $2,500 stipend to help fund a leadership project on their home campus or neighboring community during their senior year. For her project, Jones, 21, plans to work on a mentoring program for middle-school-age boys. Jones is scheduled to graduate in May 2007 with a self-designed liberal-arts studies degree in urban justice with an emphasis in black studies.