The Aurora Foundation has announced that Asnuntuck Community College’s Women’s Leadership Institute’s “Launch Your Leadership Journey” program is one of their College Success grant recipients. This is the third time the program has been awarded a grant from the Foundation.


Connecticut’s Community College North-West Regional President Dr. James Lombella expressed his gratitude to the organization for their support, “I would like to once again thank the Aurora Foundation for their contribution and supporting our Women’s Leadership Institute program.” He continued, “This program is essential for helping develop our future leaders and giving our female students a forum to develop their leadership skills and become our next generation of leaders!”

A tuition-free leadership development program for female students at Asnuntuck, “Launch Your Leadership Journey” will celebrate its sixth anniversary this Fall. Students earn an ACC Certificate in Emerging Leadership following completion of the program.


“We are thankful that the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation will continue to support our women’s leadership program,” said Asnuntuck Community College’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Michelle Coach.  “Their contribution of funds allows us to cultivate women leaders to lead our new normal within our society.  We are at a time when we need strong leaders, and the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation are helping us achieve that goal.”


There have been 88 women who have graduated from the program at Asnuntuck. This Fall, Asnuntuck’s Launch Your Leadership Journey will be offered virtually for four hours every Saturday.


We are grateful to the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation for their continued support during these challenging times.  Their flexibility and willingness to work with us while we pilot new virtual options of program delivery means that we can continue to provide this life-changing leadership training to a new cohort of deserving students,” said Chief Regional Workforce Development Officer for the North-West Region, Eileen Peltier, who is a co-founder of Asnuntuck’s Women’s Leadership Institute.



The program is facilitated by local female leaders who mentor and foster work readiness and understanding of leadership from business and professional perspectives. Participants are required to select an ACC activity, group, committee, or local community organization to join where they will continue to practice and develop their leadership skills and cultivate their leadership identities. Past projects include the established of Asnuntuck’s Food Pantry, a Rotaract Club and support of women led businesses internationally.


Sessions feature topics that include, leadership knowledge, skill, and attitude building, leadership identity, ethics, addressing gender bias, communicating with leadership presence, problem solving skills, assertiveness skills, networking, addressing conflict, collaboration, leading change and leading groups and teams. Funding from the grant will be used to provide the students with seminars on topics essential to leading social change. Session titles will include, Discover Your Leadership Identity, Neutralizing Gender Bias, Networking Skills, Assertiveness Skills, Communications Skills to Get Your Message Heard, Cultural Sensitivity, Leading Groups and Teams, Leading without Authority, Problem-solving Skills, Leading with Courage and Leading Social Change Ethically.


Director of Asnuntuck’s Student Activities and co-founder of Asnuntuck’s Women’s Leadership Institute Sherry Paquette said, “We appreciate the support of the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation as this funding enables us to be an agent for positive social change as we grow leaders for our communities.”


The Aurora Foundation serves as a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls in Greater Hartford, with the intended effect of unlocking the potential of their families and surrounding communities.