LEAD (LEADERSHIP EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT) is an innovative, four–year program designed to give undergraduate students leadership skills, professional development, career connections,and enhanced confidence. Each class cohort meets twice a month for its own workshops that address the unique opportunities, challenges, and transitions that impact female students at each stage of college. Students also have the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with HCW and UHart alumnae, leaders, faculty, staff, professionals in the community, and LEAD participants from other class years.
In addition to giving Meghan professional and personal advice, Akinbajo also motivated her to go after her dreams. “Dr. Akinbajo was helpful to me in confirming that pharmacy is the ideal career for me,” Meghan said.
Female students who participate in The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s LEAD program are provided with unique opportunities that truly help prepare them for success. Not only do they learn leadership skills, but they also grow their confidence as they engage in professional development and build networks and bridges to their futures.
Through the LEAD program, Meghan Becerril ’20, a health science pre–pharmacy major, had the opportunity to be mentored by Deanna Akinbajo, a clinical pharmacist at Waterbury Hospital.
The LEAD program also helps students develop a blueprint for their lives in and after college, and provides excellent opportunities for students to engage in powerful reflection as they define their goals and choose their future paths.
Deanna Akinbajo, who was thankful for her mentors and sees mentorship as an important way “to give back,” told Meghan about the many opportunities available to pharmacists and gave her advice on how to make her graduate school application stand out.
University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward is impressed with the LEAD program. “We are putting together experiential maps for every undergraduate student,” Woodward says. “Part of the whole experience we value includes leadership training and experiences embraced by LEAD. A full education might, and perhaps should, include leadership engagement that the LEAD program models so well.”