The Essence Girls' Mentorship Program is designed to provide leadership training and opportunities to students in middle school and high school.  Students in these programs participate in a variety of hands on experiences helping them understand what leadership is and the impact they can make as leaders.

With support from school staff across the Northwest Suburban Integration School District collaborative, we will work together for the purpose of sharing knowledge, experiences, and to raise expectations.  We will show that it takes a village to propel students forward in life.

We meet with twice monthly, during the school year, at the students school, to work on curriculum provided to students focusing on four constructs: 

  • Expectations
  • Aspirations
  • Opportunities
  • Achievement

The Essence program is available to all students in our seven member districts. While enrollment is inclusive, targeted population are students who have been identified by their respective school of needing extra mentorship support for both staying in school and improving their school experience.

Students have the opportunity to participate in out-of-school educational experiences during the school year with other students from across the collaborative.  Field trip experiences include:

Service learning - giving back to our community
Base Camp - leadership skill building

College and Career Conferences - both for middle and high school students

College Visits

Student selection process and requirements - NWSISD staff along with school staff will identify potential participants.

If you have any questions about the Essence Girls Mentorship Program, please contact Candace Whittaker at 763-450-1336 or at