FAQ's | Girls Empowerment Network

Pathfinder Leadership Summit Frequently Asked Questions


General information


What is Pathfinder?

Girls Empowerment Network’s Pathfinder Leadership Summit is a personal and professional development program aimed at giving 9th-12th grade girls a head start on their road to independence, college and career. Attendees will uncover their strengths.

  • Find their unique strengths.
  • Develop real world skills like interviewing and public speaking.
  • Explore different industries and professions.
  • Gain access to women leaders and professionals in the area.
  • Create bonds and friendships with like-minded peers.

When is Pathfinder?

In 2017, GEN will run the 3rd Annual Pathfinder Leadership Summit from Monday June 12- Saturday June 17, 2017.  Pathfinder Leadership Summit will consist of weekday sessions Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm and a Saturday retreat on June 17th from 10am-7:30pm.


Where is it?

Pathfinder 2017 will take place at Girls Empowerment Network, 3000 S IH 35, Suite 400, Austin, TX 78751. Monday- Thursday and Saturday and Friday will take place at Google Fiber, 200 Colorado St., Austin, TX 78701. We will also visits local companies during the week with transportation provided by GEN. Parking will be available free to participants in our office parking lot. For a regularly updated list of presenters and site visit locations, visit our Featured Presenters and Activities page.


Who can attend Pathfinder?

Pathfinder is open to young women that will be in grades 9-12 during the 2016-2017 school year. There is an application process and candidates must be selected into the program in order to enroll. You can find the application here.


Can I follow GEN on social media for Pathfinder updates?

Yes! You can follow us on Twitter here or “like” us on Facebook here. Check us out on Instagram also under @GirlsEmpowermentNetwork.



Applying for Pathfinder


How do I apply for Pathfinder?

To apply for Pathfinder, complete an online application. The application must be completed in one sitting; it’s not possible to save it online. Please note that you will be asked to answer a few short-answer questions. Applicants will be notified within 2 weeks of submitting application if they have been accepted. To reserve a spot in the program, a deposit of $100 will be required upon acceptance, unless eligible for a full scholarship, then the deposit will be $25. The last day to apply for Pathfinder is Monday May 22, 2017.


How competitive is Pathfinder?

This being our 3rd year we are expecting to get a large number of applications. Strong applicants who have solid communication skills, a willingness to learn and grow and the ability to work well with others. Once accepted into the program, young women will find Pathfinder to be a supportive, welcoming environment. Our vision is to create a cohort of young women who encourage each other to take risks and grow with the support of each other.


How many spaces are available for Pathfinder’s Summer Leadership Summits?

There is room for up to 30 young women in the Pathfinder Leadership Summit however there are a limited number of scholarships. If you are in need of a scholarship please apply as soon as you are able.


Pathfinder Content

What will take place at Pathfinder?

At Pathfinder, young women will learn about themselves and develop skills to help them as they transition into college and beyond. They will answer questions such as, “What are my strengths?”, “What is my path,” and, “how can I use my interests and strengths to pursue a successful career on day?” They will learn from expert presenters, panel discussions of women leaders from different industries, and college-aged mentors. Topics covered will include leadership, public speaking, interviewing skills, networking, resume writing, stressbusters, entrepreneurship and more!


Who is speaking at Pathfinder?


For a list of presenters, see the Featured Presenters and Activities page of our website.


Can I put this on my college applications?

Yes! While we don’t want young women to join the program solely for the purpose of enhancing their college applications, we also know that young women are looking for ways to stand out in the college application process. Pathfinder participants will receive a certificate at the completion of the summer leadership summit. In addition, they will have valuable experiences, stronger skills and increased self knowledge that we hope will inspire and enhance college essays and interviews.


How did Girls Empowerment Network decide on the topics for Pathfinder?

The Pathfinder Leadership Summit was developed based on hours of interviews and focus groups with executive women leaders, parents, school counselors, high school students and college students. They were asked many questions, most importantly, “what do today’s high school girls need to know to be strong leaders?” The content and structure of Pathfinder is based on what we learned through these interviews. We are excited about offering young women in high school unique opportunities to gain the self knowledge and skills that will help them succeed in whatever life and career path they choose to follow.


Does Pathfinder continue beyond the one week Leadership Summit?

Yes! All participants will have the opportunity to stay connected via an online community.  Our vision is that Pathfinders will support each other throughout high school and beyond. There are also year round Pathfinder Workshops that inspire girls to reach for the futures they want, give back to their community, and sharpen their professional skills.  


If I go through the Leadership Summit, will I have my career figured out?

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. We know that everyone’s life and career will take unexpected twists and turns. That’s part of the challenge, and also part of the fun of it all. Young women who participate in Pathfinder will leave with more confidence, self knowledge, and skills to make big things happen in their lives. They will be inspired to take risks and live authentically. We believe everyone is on her own unique path. Pathfinder programming is designed to help participants see their path more clearly while building important skills to achieve successes.


Will the Pathfinder be like school?

Not at all. We are desiging fun, hands-on activities and bringing in dynamic presenters to share useful, relevant information.





How much does it cost?

Pathfinder costs $450 per participant however there are scholarships available for the participants that need financial assistance.


What does the price of Pathfinder include?

For $450, participants will receive a one day retreat, five full days of programming, ongoing access to women leaders for informational interviews, an ongoing online community with discussions and inspiration, and access to volunteer opportunities with GEN. Lunch and snacks will be provided each day.


Do you offer scholarships?

Yes, we offer full and partial scholarships. If you are interested in Pathfinder and cannot afford the cost, please be sure to fill out the scholarship page in the application.


How do I apply for a scholarship?

The scholarship application is on the 3rd page of the online application. Be sure to complete the appropriate questions on the application and we will let you know about the status of your scholarship along with your acceptance.


Will applying for a scholarship affect my chances of being accepted into Pathfinder?

No. We will not make acceptance decisions based on whether someone applies for a scholarship. However, we cannot guarantee scholarships to everyone who applies for one.


Is lunch included?

Yes! Lunch will be provided. We will try to accommodate food preferences and allergies, although participants with specific dietary restrictions may want to bring their own food.


Where can I sponsor or donate to Pathfinder?

Thank you for your interest! You can donate to GEN online by clicking here.


Presenting and Volunteering


Can I present/speak at Pathfinder?

If you are interested in presenting at Pathfinder, please contact Blair Stirek at blair@girlsempowermentnetwork.org.


Do you allow men to present at Pathfinder?

Yes! Our outreach has mostly connected us with women, but we welcome men to join us, too.


Can adults volunteer for Pathfinder?

Our intern positons for Pathfinder 2017 are full. Please visit our Get Involved page on our website to apply for GEN’s other intern positions.


Promoting Pathfinder




How can I help spread the word about Pathfinder?

We would love your help in spreading the word at your school, youth group, service organization, etc . For details about how to help us share information about Pathfinder, contact blair@girlsempowermentnetwork.org or call us at (512) 808-4044 ext. 106.


Who do I contact with media inquiries?

Please email blair@girlsempowermentnetwork.org.


I have a specific question. Who can I contact?

You can contact the Pathfinder team at blair@girlsempowermentnetwork.org or (512)808-4044.

Si necesita ayuda en español o mas informacion, por favor contacte Claudia (512)808-4044 ext: 106, claudiaa@girlsempowermentnetwork.org.