As part of its ongoing commitment to Catholic education and women’s leadership, Notre Dame offers a series of workshops for young women currently in seventh grade at Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of San Jose. These LEAD (Learn, Empower, Act and Discover) workshops are offered at no cost to the student. Students who are accepted into the program select from a series of workshops in a range of subject areas ranging from robotics to leadership, art and women’s history. In addition to highlighting particular leadership skills and concepts, workshops integrate hand-on activities and conclude with a reflective process that further reinforces the value and applicability of concepts learned. As a culminating project, participants create a leadership portfolio that is presented at a spring reception.
Notre Dame’s LEAD Program hosted 39 students from 15 Catholic elementary schools this year (Catholic Academy of Sunnyvale, Holy Family, Holy Spirit, Queen of Apostles, Resurrection, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Christopher, Saint Frances Cabrini, Saint John Vianney, Saint Joseph of Cupertino, Saint Justin, Saint Leo the Great, Saint Lucy, Saint Patrick, Saint Simon), the fourth year the program has been offered. Graduates of LEAD also become candidates for the Françoise Leadership Award at Notre Dame High School. Françoise leaders who continue in positions of leadership and exceed their community service requirements during their four years at Notre Dame receive special recognition at graduation.