Novelty check presented to OSWLI Executive Director

OSWLI at the Mainebiz Women’s Leadership Forum

Executive Director, Christina McAnuff, spoke at the Mainebiz Women’s Leadership Forum on April 6, 2017.

The topic of this year’s forum was “The gender wage gap – why is this still a thing?” Guest speakers with legal, human resources, and leadership backgrounds discussed the data surrounding the gender wage gap, contributing issues, and solutions.

Christina focused on networking and mentoring – starting at a young age and continuing throughout careers – as a solution.


Portland Press Herald: A luncheon to lift women leaders

The proverbial glass ceiling continues to crack, and on Dec. 8, it made a sound heard statewide.

Over 650 guests gathered at the Holiday Inn By The Bay to support former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe and her Women’s Leadership Institute at its second annual leadership luncheon.

“This is our biggest event of the year,” said Christina McAnuff, the institute’s executive director. “It’s both a friend-raiser and a fundraiser. It gives us the chance to thank our donors and friends, but also provides an opportunity to hear firsthand from the students the difference this opportunity is making to them.”

Olympia posing with leaders and participants of program.
Participants from Medomal Valley

Village Soup: Institute started by Snowe helps girls build leadership

Members of the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute at Medomak Valley High School meet with representatives of the institute. From left, front: Jordan Hays, Emily Grinnell, Makayla Wallace and Marcia Benner, Olympia Snowe representative; rear: Hattie Watmaugh, Emma Hooper and Frieda Hanlon, Olympia Snowe representative.

Launched in 2015, The Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by former U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe to elevate the confidence and aspirations of high school girls by helping them build the leadership, collaboration and problem-solving skills needed to become successful in their lives, families, careers and communities. Young women are selected in their sophomore year of high school by school staff to participate in the three-year program.


Portland Press Herald: Alfond Foundation pledges $1.4 million to grow Snowe leadership institute

The Harold Alfond Foundation pledged Thursday to provide $1.4 million in a matching grant program to support the development of a new generation of female leaders.

Greg Powell, chairman of the foundation, made his announcement at a luncheon celebrating the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, which offers leadership opportunities to girls in high schools throughout Maine. The money, offered as a 1 to 1 match, is intended to leverage a $2.8 million endowment to expand and sustain the program, now in its second year.

Harold Alfond Foundation

Olympia’s Leaders Speak, and Connect

The inaugural class of Olympia’s Leaders, 49 young women from Androscoggin County, told the Institute they wanted to stay better connected with their peers, advisors and with the Institute. We listened. This year, thanks to MEMIC, we have launched Canvas, an online Learning Management System that not only allows the Institute to deliver program content and training, but also creates a private, online community where Olympia’s Leaders can discuss issues, encourage one another, challenge ideas, connect with their advisors and stay in touch with the Institute. As we welcome 105 sophomores from all 16 counties this technology and connectivity will have a positive impact on how the participants engage with one another and the program.


The OSWLI Team Expands

In mid-September Kristina Jenkins joined our team as Director of Philanthropy. She is responsible for developing and executing the annual fundraising plan to ensure financial support for the strategic goals of the Institute. The position also manages direct solicitations and stewardship activities for corporate, individual and foundation donors.

Kristina comes to the Institute from the Pine Tree Council, Boy Scouts of America where she managed a $3.5m capital campaign to rebuild their four camp properties in Southern Maine. Her responsibilities included the management of all levels and types of donors. As a former President and active sustaining member of the Junior League of Portland, Kristina has long supported women’s leadership training and believes joining the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute is a wonderful opportunity to put her passions to work to support young women in Maine.

Bio Photo of Kristina
Olypmia leading a workshop.

Bangor Metro: Strong Future

Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe left the Senate in 2013 after her third six-year term and a lengthy political career, but she hasn’t slipped into seclusion. Instead, Snowe is focusing on raising aspirations and confidence in future generations of Maine women.

Snowe, orphaned at age 9 and widowed at 26, knows from her observations and experiences what the studies show: that between elementary and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops, on average, 3.5 times more than boys’.

“Everywhere I go, I hear these same concerns about girls lacking the confidence to be what they have the ability to be. So I decided to do something about it and founded the Institute,” Snowe said. “By assisting more young women to be grounded in their values, find their voice and create a network of support, we will help them on a path to fulfill their potential.”


Olympia’s Leaders Gain Confidence, Take on New Challenges

The month of June has been one of celebration for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute. Not only did we mark the successful completion of the program’s first year, My Values, but also gathered with, and thanked, our donors—both the Institute’s Individual and Corporate Founders. Their early and significant support allowed us to realize Senator Snowe’s vision of an organization that builds the confidence and elevates the aspirations of young women in Maine.

At each stewardship event we were proud to share the gains made by Olympia’s Leaders over the past 10 months.

Learnings graphic
Susan Stacey photograph

OLA Spotlight: Susan Stacey

The Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute is incredibly grateful to the amazing women who volunteer as Olympia’s Leaders’ Advisors, or OLAs, to guide the cohorts of participants at each school. Since October 2015 OLAs have played a significant role in the more than 800 hours in which Olympia’s Leaders connected with positive, women role models. One such volunteer is Susan Stacey, Assistant Vice President, and Treasury Services Officer at Androscoggin Bank. Recently Susan was awarded the 2016 HR Volunteer Leader of the Year by the Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Thank you, Susan, for your commitment to the Institute and the other organizations that benefit from your time and talents. Congratulations!


Expanding Across Maine

With the start of the 2016/17 school year the Institute will have cohorts of Olympia’s Leaders in each county in Maine. Our plans for growth are on pace with our strategic plan – with an additional school in each country slated to join the program for the 2017/18 school year. Hear about the successes of our inaugural year in this short video.

Map of Maine with key.