The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network—established by the Pussycat Foundation in the spirit of longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown—is an intergenerational initiative across four institutions of higher education led by women presidents that have demonstrated their commitment to collaboration, innovation, diversity and inclusion.
The BOLD network is focused on developing courageous leadership among young women within higher education who possess the skills necessary to move discourse forward on some of our most challenging social issues. Rooted within an intergenerational mentoring network of women from all sectors, BOLD Scholars aim to leverage their own identities, strengths, and collective knowledge to positively impact social change and foster inclusive campus environments. The BOLD network is committed to supporting young women from all backgrounds and especially those who have been significantly underrepresented in higher education in terms of socioeconomic class, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, and ability.
In January 2017, the BOLD network launched a two-year beta program supporting 60 BOLD Scholars on four college/university campuses. Forty BOLD Scholars were chosen from students in the junior class of their respective schools (Rutgers University-Newark will select a cohort of 10 first-year BOLD Scholars as members of their Honors Living-Learning Community, a program critically informing the model of the BOLD Scholars initiative). Twenty additional scholars were chosen across the four institutions in fall 2017. As part of the two-year beta program, Rutgers University-Newark and California State University at Fullerton will select community college graduates as members of their second cohorts.
Each BOLD Scholar will receive a scholarship of $25,000 per academic year. Because the BOLD scholarship includes a generous financial award, intensive academic and career mentoring, a campus transformation project, an international immersion experience, and a team-building and cohort mode—Scholars must live on campus to participate in the BOLD program. The inaugural cohort will participate in the program for three semesters starting in Spring 2017, every cohort thereafter is four semesters.