You Can’t Fail, Inc. Announces the Inaugural
Millennial Women Making Moves Learning Community
The You Can’t Fail Board of Directors is pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of its new
program, the Millennial Women Making Moves Learning Community (MWMMLC). MWMMLC is
a 6-month long leadership development program running from April – October 2018. This
program is specifically designed to develop and accelerate the leadership development and
career paths of early- and mid-career professional women of color. The Millennial Women
Making Moves Learning Community is made possible at no cost to the participants due to a grant from National Grid.
After an extensive application and screening process, ten high potential emerging women
leaders were selected to participate in the MWMMLC. Members of the 2018 cohort are:
Yesenia Cuadrado, Baldwinsville, Divisional Director, Liberty Resources
Amy Dobrovech, Jamesville, Analyst, National Grid
Lisa GreenMills, East Syracuse, Program Coordinator, Healthy Start – OCHD
Shantina Hines Kyles, Syracuse, Asst. Nurse Manager, VAMC
Shavonna Hinton, Ithaca, Asst. Director of Admissions, Cornell University
Diana Jaramillo, Syracuse, Architect, Kin Studio
Cassandra Medard, Syracuse, Sr. Pricing Analyst, Eaton Crouse-Hinds
Laiza Semidey, Syracuse, Sr Ad Tech Manager, SpinCar
Crystal Sessoms, Ithaca, Associate Principal, Ithaca City School District
Tiffany Smith, Liverpool, Senior Director-School Support, Achievement Network
MWMMLC participants engage in monthly workshops led by successful established women
leaders on topics strategically identified as important to the development of women leaders.
Participants in the program are also assigned a personal mentor who is a senior leader in the
participant’s professional industry. Mentors and participants will meet throughout the learning
community to assist MWMMLC participants in developing the philosophies, skills, career
strategies and behaviors of effective women leaders. Upon completion of the program,
participants will develop and present a comprehensive leadership development plan they will
use to guide decisions about their careers over the next 36 months. This plan will be
presented during their graduation ceremony in front of a panel of established women leaders
who will provide feedback for applying this plan to ongoing career development.
Gwen Webber-McLeod Founder of You Can’t Fail, Inc. said at the April 21 st MWMMLC kick-off
event “The Millennial Women Making Moves Learning Community joins the annual You Can’t
Fail Conference as a hallmark program of You Can’t Fail, Inc. As the founder of this
outstanding organization it makes me proud to bear witness to the first group of high potential
women so excited to enhance their careers through this leadership learning community experience.”
You Can’t Fail, Inc. is a nonprofit company whose mission is to provide strategically designed
multicultural leadership learning environments for professional women of color and those who
support them, “Unexpected Leaders,” and other young women and individuals who are
striving to build their self-esteem and grow personally as they build a successful leadership path.
A Re-Cap of the First Workshop
Saturday, 5/19/18, was a rainy Spring day in Syracuse but the energy was all bright and sunny at the
MWMMLC session downtown!
The cohort started the day by discussing the state of women in the workforce. The following are a few
– Statistic that even in healthcare, the number of women in senior management positions is low
– Mentoring those women that will come up behind you is key to all women’s success
– Women are reluctant to go for that promotion due to family commitments
– Women need to negotiate for what they need, just as men do all the time
The bulk of the session was spent with the cohort discovering their personality characteristics with Celia
Beaucage facilitating the Personality Dimensions workshop. We all discovered a little orange, blue,
green, and gold in all of us even though we all had various dominant colors. The following are a few
– Every team needs all the traits to do the job well
– Embrace those that have traits that you do not, you need them
– Always follow the platinum rule, “Do unto others as they need you to do, NOT how you need”
The cohort then rounded the corner to home stretch with Gwen Webber-Mcleod facilitating a discussion
on the mentor/mentee relationship and announced each participants mentor, who they will formally
meet next month!
Feedback from the cohort has been positive and they are a dynamic group of women that are eager to
succeed and help each other along the journey!
“Loved the discussion about women and interesting to learn about personalities, best one I’ve done!”
“I really enjoyed today, especially how everyone is thinking about how these topics apply to their lives
right now. Thank you for spoiling us!”
“I enjoyed how professional and impactful this cohort is. I feel privileged, energized and in the right
place for growth and relationship building. This group of women is amazing. I am grateful!”
“This was a wonderful start to our journey. The Personality training and presentations was great.
Information about mentoring was informative.”
“Hearing different presenters talk about their experiences and sharing how we can overcome certain
obstacles. The diversity of women in the cohort.”
Information about MWMMLC:
• MWMMLC is a leadership development program specifically designed to develop and accelerate
the career paths of early- and mid-career professional women of color.
• MWMMLC is a 6-month program that that consists of at least 6 meetings and assignments over
the course of the program.
• Participants will be assigned a personal mentor who is a senior leader and is relevant to the
participant’s professional industry. This mentor will provide periodic mentor sessions to assist
with identifying and securing relevant employment opportunities.
• Due to the in-depth curriculum and interactive nature of MWMMLC, participants are expected
to attend all four-hour in-person workshop sessions.
• Participants who successfully complete the program will be included in a MWMM Leadership
Learning Community resume booklet, which will be distributed to various corporate partners.
• MWMMLC is open to women leaders ages 25-40 who identify as African American,
Latina/Hispanic, and/or Native American or otherwise underrepresented in their professional
industries of employment.
• There is no educational requirement, i.e., you do not need a college degree to apply or
participate in this program. Qualified candidates will have 1-15 years of experience and
demonstrate top talent.
• There is no application fee. Also, this program is fully funded by You Can’t Fail’s strategic
partner, National Grid. There is no financial cost to program participants
Learning Community Program Schedule:
February 1st, 2018 → Application due
February 2018 → Candidates selected
March 2018 → Program starts: mentors and teams are assigned, workshop 1 is held
April- August 2018 → Monthly workshop sessions (5 total) and team project
September 2018 → End of program: projects presented and closing ceremony
November 2018 → Application released for 2019 MWMMLC
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. I am not classified as a millennial. May I apply for this program?
There is no age restriction for this program. Professional women with 1-15 years of professional
work experience in their specific industry or company are highly encouraged to apply.
2. Can I apply if I have 20 years of work experience in one industry/company but have recently
changed careers or entered a new industry/company?
Career changers with 1-15 years of professional work experience within their new
industry/company are highly encouraged to apply.
3. Is this program open to men?
No. Currently, this program is specifically designed to support the unique career experiences of
women so we are only accepting applicants from women at this time.
4. I’m not African American, Native American, or Hispanic/Latina, but I am underrepresented in my
industry. Am I eligible for this program?
Yes. The goal of this program is to help bridge the professional diversity gap for women of color and
other women who are underrepresented in their professional industries. Professional women who
are underrepresented in their professional industry of employment are highly encouraged to apply
regardless of their ethnicity.
5. Is this program restricted to professional women in a particular sector (private or public) or specific
No. This program is seeking a diverse pool of participants within the cohort and will utilize the
robust You Can’t Fail, Inc., network to ensure program participants receive a mentor who is a senior
leader in their specific industry to assist with the various components of their career planning.
Applicants of all sectors and industries are encouraged to apply.
6. What is meant by “demonstration of leadership and professional top talent”?
We are seeking to identify, develop, and connect top talent participants with this program.
Applicants should be able to provide examples of how they demonstrate their leadership and
professional top talent within their communities or workplace.