Join one of Alabama’s most powerful women’s networks – apply by August 31


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upward momentum
Momentum’s Andrea McCaskey + April Benetollo. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Rising women leaders, this one’s for you. Momentum is a Birmingham-based non-profit organization that has been providing leadership development programs since 2002. They are currently accepting applications for the Fourth Momentum Upward Career Start Program until August 31st.. Read on for all the details, including how to apply.

Meet Momentum

This female leadership development network is celebrating its 20th anniversary. They started with an executive leadership program, and then after enough women said, “I wish I had this information early in my career,” Upward was born.

Who is behind the program + who is it for

Ascending Momentum class
Kerry Schrader from Mixtroz speaking to a Momentum Upward class. Photo via Momentum

To get the scoop, we spoke with April Benetollo, CEO of Momentum, Andrea McCaskey, Director of Programs and current participant Gabi Hembree.

You might be a woman early in your career who aspires to be a leader. Maybe you have some experience, including some management experience. Or you could be a woman just starting her leadership journey after a long period of formal schooling, or re-entering the workforce.

Regardless of your age or whether you have been in the workforce for five or ten years, you are welcome to apply to Momentum’s Upward Early Career program.

There will be two classes of 30 participants each, for a total of 60 participants.

What you need to know about Momentum’s Upward Early Career program

Momentum Upward flip chart
Momentum Upward Early Career Flipchart. Photo via Momentum

Nuts and bolts

  • You will meet in person every month for a half day from February to October 2022.
  • Meetings are held at the Birmingham Bar Association on 2nd Avenue North, with plenty of room for physical distancing.

What you will get from Momentum’s Upward program

  • You will get tools that will help you understand the value you bring to your organization and how to better navigate your career.
  • You will join a powerful and deeply engaged alumni network, with over 550 women who have completed Momentum’s flagship executive leadership program and over 150 women who have completed Upward. It also gives you the benefit of knowing that whatever you are going through, you are not alone.

Favorites + takeaway

McDonald Graham Teaching Momentum Upward Class
Julie McDonald + Lisa Graham are the favorite teachers of the Upward program. Photo via Momentum

I asked Upward Curriculum Developer Andrea McCaskey about two of her favorite parts of the program. Here is what she said:

  • The Strength Scope with Kathy Boswell — it helps participants understand what they are bringing to the table. “We want them to come away saying ‘I know who I am and I know the value I bring to this organization.'”
  • Leadership essentials with McDonald Graham, with a focus on your personal bandwidth. “Some people can do 20 things at a time. Some can do it 3. If you know where you are at it is so much easier to navigate your life.

“One of my favorite takeaways so far has been to break the myth of work-life balance and understand that life is not a ladder, neither is it. is a mixture. Each individual has different elements that make up their mix, the elements being the things that really matter to you.

It helped me stay focused on my personal life and how it relates to my career, which made me feel more satisfied (I also do more work).

Gabi Hembree, current participant at Upward

Cost, Scholarships and How to Apply for Momentum’s Upward Program

upward momentum
Doesn’t that sound like such a good idea? Chart via Momentum
  • Cost: $ 2,000 per participant – this amount is usually paid for by a company or a combination of a company and a participant
  • Scholarships: Limited partial and full scholarships available, with no guarantee of obtaining one. Simply indicate on your application if you need a scholarship to participate.
  • Apply: Upward is accepting applications until August 31

Here’s what Gabi Hembree says to any woman who’s hesitant to apply:

“Do it! If you want to develop yourself as a leader, meet and have the opportunity to guide (or be mentored by) top professionals in Birmingham and have fun while doing it, there is no there is absolutely no reason NOT to enroll in Momentum’s Upward course … I promise you will thank me (and yourself) later.

Other ways to get involved in Momentum

April Benetollo stressed that “Not everyone is at the right stage to participate in bottom-up or executive leadership programs, but they can always benefit from other professional and personal development opportunities that Momentum offers.”

Do you know you want to be part of Momentum’s next Upward class? Apply before August 31st to reserve your spot.

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