Rising Star Leadership Program

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About the Program

The YWCA Rising Star Leadership Program empowers and equips high-performing women to become equity leaders.  This unique development experience strengthens leadership skills and prepares participants for non-profit board service while connecting them to a powerful network of accomplished female leaders.

Sessions are facilitated by local and national experts and cover a wide variety of topics from building executive skills to balancing career, board, and home life. In the spirit of the YWCA’s pioneering history of leading racial justice initiatives, the program presents very direct and specific training on eliminating discrimination and promoting racial and gender equity. Graduates join a diverse network of recipients with access to exclusive networking and educational opportunities.

YWCA Board Registry

Graduates of the YWCA Leadership Program are certified by the YWCA as ready-to-serve on local boards and are added to the YWCA’s Board Registry. Area organizations are able to share their board openings with candidates in our registry by contacting Kristi Rohrkasse at 513-361-2168 or krohrkasse@ywcacin.org




Since 2002, the YWCA has been recognizing outstanding young professional female leaders as Rising Stars in our community.  The YWCA Rising Star Leadership Program was started in 2007 to further empower our future and present female leaders with generous support from Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Barbara Lindsey Memorial Fund.


2020 Class

2020 class
Photo by Mary Strubbe


Participation Requirements


Between the ages of 25 and 40 

Nomination by a member of the YWCA board, Academy of Career Women of Achievement, or a Rising Star Leadership Program graduate

Exhibit the qualities of an outstanding performer

Demonstrate the potential to attain marked achievement in the chosen career


Nominations for the 2021 Rising Star Leadership Program are being accepted through August 9, 2020. The program takes place in 5 ½ full-day sessions taking place between January and May (see the application for 2021 program dates).

2021 RSLP Nomination Form 2021 RSLP Canidate Application



Questions? Contact Kristi Rohrkasse at krohrkasse@ywcacin.org or 513-361-2168

We are grateful to the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee; and Katy Hollister & Deloitte for funding support of the YWCA Rising Star Leadership Program. We are also indebted to Kathy Beechem for her inspirational and dedicated leadership.