Leading Ladies

Adolescence is a period of transition involving changes in physical development, cognitive abilities, emotional adjustment and self esteem. Without key protective factors and support from caring and supportive adults, young people can be vulnerable to negative stress and low self worth. Low self worth can contribute to issues such as disengagement from school, teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, self-harming behaviors, homelessness and unhealthy relationships.

To prevent the issues attributed to low self worth, Progressive Achievers Inc., a community organization based in New Jersey, have developed a program called Leading Ladies.

This program for girls from ages 9 to 17 and is based on the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents identified by the Search Institute (Starkman, 2002). The Search Institute outlines the developmental assets that help young people to be healthy, caring and responsible. The Institute suggests that the more assets young people gain, the more likely they are to have success at school, and the less likely they are to engage in high-risk behaviors.

Using strength-based games, activities and discussions, the Leading Ladies is to define programs which develop the participants to help them gain a positive identity and a sense of purpose.

In 2011 Leading Ladies implemented a program at American History High School, Newark, N.J., based on Etiquette Training. The girls were put into class room style settings where each facilitator commenced with topics such as dining etiquette, proper dress, self esteem and career development skills.

Our Leading Ladies program increased the confidence and life skills of the girls that completed the one day program.

All of the participants stated that the program helped them gain increased confidence and self efficiency. They all stated that since participating in the program, they feel more positive about their future.

“I thought that Inspiring Young Mentors has had a really positive impact on my life.”

“Mentoring with a Mission has really helped me a lot. I've learned to love myself and it's just really helped me a lot in life. I'm going to remember this forever”. “I loved the program, it was awesome and fun”.

Progressive Achievers Inc. “Leading Ladies” program looks forward to taking our program into schools across the state and partnering with other organizations to strengthen our Mentoring Mission!

Joi Stanley - President, Progressive Achievers Inc.

Our Leading Ladies


Amanda Colding


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ


Kidada Denson

Jr President/Leading Ladies
Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ


Brittany Fanka


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ


Raihaanah Hall


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ



Ciara Harris


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ


Alicia Hilaire


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ


Bruny Kenou


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ


Tyja Way


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ



Ariel Williams


Columbia High School
Maplewood, NJ

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PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVERS, INC.
PO BOX 847 HILLSIDE NJ 07205
Tel: 973-985-5643 | Fax: 973-867-3660 | Email: info@Progressiveachievers.org