Women’s Education & Leadership Institute

About Women’s Education & Leadership Institute

The Women’s Education & Leadership Institute (WELI) program was founded in early 2011 by community leaders who saw a need to advance the education and economic status of women and families in Monterey County. The WELI program consists of summer leadership training, an on-campus, student-lead WELI club, a powerful mentorship with community leaders and a $2,000 financial award per student, making this a life-changing experience.

Since its inception in 2011, the WELI program has graduated more than 200 scholars and granted approximately $400,000 in scholarships.

WELI serves women who are socio-economically disadvantaged. Despite the life challenges that WELI scholars face, they have been able to achieve outstanding outcomes through the support of the program and its members.

  • 97% of students achieve their personal academic goals. 72% of WELI scholars have graduated with a certificate or degree, versus 41% of women with the same GPA who were not in WELI.
  • In terms of transfer, WELI scholars transfer at a 65% rate overall, versus 38% when compared with other female students who are enrolled in at least 9 units with at least a 2.5 grade point average.
  • Demographically, 84% of our current students receive financial aid, 63% are the first in their family to attend college, and 52% are mothers.


Statistics support that a college-educated woman is more likely to become financially self-sufficient and pursue a meaningful career. The education level of a mother is a strong indicator of the success her daughters and sons will have as adults. WELI provides the four keys: resources, education, social support, and mentorship. 

Support WELI, 2020-2021

Thank you to our founding donors!