More Than a Dress: LSU joins The Cinderella Project to empower young women

More Than a Dress: LSU joins The Cinderella Project to empower young women
Photo provided by LSU Media Relations
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POSTED: Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 5:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 5:04am

LSU recently participated in the second annual Cinderella Project Leadership Academy, or CPLA. The leadership program is one of the outreach services provided by The Cinderella Project, a local nonprofit organization that originally began as an effort to provide under-resourced girls with free prom dresses.

In 2012, The Cinderella Project joined forces with LSU to create and host the first Leadership Academy. This year, CPLA was hosted at the Louisiana State Police Headquarters in early October with 28 high school women participating from 20 high schools in 10 parishes around the state.

The primary purpose of the academy is to help young women understand the “ins and outs” of college life – everything from the application process to maximizing student development opportunities at institutions of higher education institutions like LSU.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with LSU in hosting the second annual Cinderella Project Leadership Academy,” said Shelton Jones, co-founder of the The Cinderella Project. “Empowering young women with information about college planning is one of our primary goals as an organization.”

The academy also provided these students the chance to speak with LSU counselors about choosing a major, audit a class and participate in a community service project. Above all else, the academy provided these students with a platform to see what it is like to be a leader and to encourage them to become leaders themselves.

“As the state’s flagship university, we want to be ‘the people’s university,’” said Brandon Smith, LSU community affairs liaison. “Innovative programs like CPLA give us an incredible opportunity to extend the resources of the university to increase access to postsecondary education. We must give back.”

Each “graduate” of the academy receives a stipend to offset the costs of taking the ACT test and are awarded a $500 scholarship from The Cinderella Project, which is contingent upon their acceptance and enrollment at a college or university in the state of Louisiana.

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