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Leadership Academy

YWCA supports women’s empowerment and economic advancement, with a particular focus on the reality the way race impacts women’s economic opportunities. YWCAs across the United States serve more than 122,000 women annually with economic empowerment programs, such as job training, financial literacy, salary negotiation, and leadership development. In addition, our housing and childcare programs are strong foundations on which women and families can build their financial futures.

YWCA Northeast Kansas is proud to offer two courses for women leaders at different stages in their careers.

Experienced leader looking to level up? Leadership Momentum is for entrepreneurs, middle managers, senior managers, directors, partners and vice presidents with direct experience leading people. This six-month course meets once a month.

New to leadership? Emerging Leaders is designed for women managers with six months to a year of experience in a supervisory role (new managers). This five-week program meets once a week for three-hour sessions.

Cultivating Our Community’s Future Leaders

Level up your leadership skills and make a lasting impact by enrolling today for our 5-week program for women preparing to manage a team. Incorporating active learning, Emerging Leaders will give you the tools to communicate effectively, understand leadership styles, manage diversity, and handle conflict confidently. This program is facilitated by YWCA Northeast Kansas CEO Kathleen Marker.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg

All sessions take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the YWCA. Between sessions, reading and other assignments will take approximately 2 hours per week. Course dates are as follows:

Fridays, September 8, 15, 22, 29, and October 6


Two scholarship spots are available for BIWOC leaders new to management positions. These scholarships are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to Black, Indigenous, Women of Color in Northeast Kansas with one year or less experience in a leadership position who are able and willing to attend all 5 sessions.

Register for Emerging Leaders Today!

Women’s Leadership Momentum

Designed for entrepreneurs, middle managers, senior managers, directors, partners and vice presidents with direct experience leading people Leadership Momentum is a 6-month program designed to accelerate professional growth, enhance self-awareness, improve personal and team performance.

This course is also very applicable for advanced students engaged in pursuing business administration and management or as continuing education development training.


  • Thought leaders, highly successful women from the region, speak at each session
  • Learning & leveraging political savvy
  • Negotiation styles and tactics
  • Developing and demonstrating strategic leadership skills
  • Building resilience and managing components of change process
  • Developing collaborative and effective relationships

Course Outline

  • Session One:  Building Your Leadership Path
  • Session Two: Political Savvy, Negotiation and Diversity Leadership
  • Session Three: Influence, Networks and Social Capital
  • Session Four: Strategic Thinking, Visioning and Innovation
  • Session Five: Leading Teams and Managing Change
  • Session Six: Executive Presence and Values Driven Leadership

Momentum Co-Facilitators

Denise Mills is Founder and Chief Mindset Officer of LeaderFuel Now. Her company facilitates Executive Women’s round tables, manages networking groups, designs leadership development programs, and consults with over 50 internal women’s networks nationwide. She is passionate about issues surrounding women, leadership and life.

Internationally, Denise facilitates leadership programs for The US State Department to visiting women who hold the highest ranking political title or position in their respective country. She works with women (and men) to overcome stereotypes and cultural biases that limit their choices and reduce their effectiveness.

Honored as one of the most Influential Women in Kansas City, Denise’s style is very conversational, experiential and interactive. Organizations such as Toyota, Dupont and Honeywell have sought her out as she brings a wealth of knowledge and insight into each program she facilitates.

Haley Prophet is a wellbeing consultant, facilitator, and strategist. With nearly 20 years of experience in corporate wellbeing Haley brings a multi-dimensional approach and authentic presence to her strategies for fostering an atmosphere in which individuals, organizations and communities thrive.

With a motto of live well to thrive, Haley focuses on a creative approach for evaluating and implementing well-rounded, multi-dimensional whole-person well-being opportunities through intentional planning and alignment with both company and program goals and values. Haley emphasizes the notion that energy management is where we all can build and practice resilience while prioritizing well-being – ultimately leading to happier, healthier, and more productive workplaces and communities. When individuals flourish and are able to thrive – personally and professionally – our workplaces and the communities we live in are also able to sustain a well atmosphere and thrive as a whole. Haley is also a presenter, speaker, and session facilitator who has received multiple awards and recognitions over the years for her work within the workplace well-being industry impacting many lives in such a positive manner.

The monthly leadership topics, the one-on-one consultation on the results of my self-assessment, and the Action Learning projects all helped me to grow as a leader. Thank you YWCA for this unique opportunity! – Kim Savage, Westar Energy

Course Registration

The six-month course meets monthly, typically on the third Wednesday, from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, with enrollment limited to 25 participants. Leadership Momentum is currently planned as an in-person program, and classes will be held at YWCA Northeast Kansas.

2023 Session dates:

  • July 19
  • August 16
  • September 20
  • October 18
  • November 15
  • December 20

Course Fee Schedule:

  • Regular Registration – Individual $3,000 per person
  • Group Registration (3 or more) – $2,500 per person

Online Registration Form

Contact Kathleen Marker for more information: kathleenm@ywcaneks.org  or (785) 233-1750.

Still wondering if Leadership Momentum is right for you? Here is what past graduates have said:

“This program provides its participants with the opportunity to learn more about how to tap into their own leadership capabilities and apply it to their place of business.”

“I found this program to be very valuable in developing my style of Leadership. Denise has a wealth of knowledge and is an expert in this field.”

“This program greatly helps get the creative juices flowing regarding what it takes to be a good, or better, leader. Denise does a great job giving you the tools and examples to put good leadership habits into practice.”