About BOLD

The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network—established by the Pussycat Foundation in the spirit of longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown—is an intergenerational initiative across four institutions of higher education led by women presidents that have demonstrated their commitment to collaboration, innovation, diversity, and inclusion.

The BOLD network is focused on developing courageous leadership among young women within higher education who possess the skills necessary to move discourse forward on some of our most challenging social issues. Rooted within an intergenerational mentoring network of women from all sectors, BOLD Scholars aim to leverage their own identities, strengths, and collective knowledge to positively impact social change and foster inclusive campus environments. The BOLD network is committed to supporting young women from all backgrounds and especially those who have been significantly underrepresented in higher education in terms of socioeconomic class, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, and ability.

Candidates must meet the following criteria to be considered for the BOLD scholarship:

  • Junior standing (as of Fall 2017)
  • Students who are women and/or identify as women
  • Full-time status
  • Good academic standing
  • Exceptional leadership abilities demonstrated through action (both formal and informal)
  • Strong critical thinking skills and demonstrated ability or desire to facilitate challenging discourse
  • Demonstrated passion for social equity
  • Demonstrated ability to work well in groups
  • Resides on campus for 4-5 semesters (the duration of the program is 4 semesters, but Feb 2019.5s are eligible); students who plan to study abroad during either semester of junior or senior years are not eligible to apply

In January 2017, the BOLD network will launch a two-year beta program supporting 60 BOLD Scholars on four college/university campuses. Forty BOLD Scholars will be chosen this fall from students in the junior class of their respective schools (Rutgers University-Newark will select a cohort of 10 first-year BOLD Scholars as members of their Honors Living-Learning Community, a program critically informing the model of the BOLD Scholars initiative). Twenty additional scholars will be chosen across the four institutions in fall 2017. As part of the two-year beta program, Rutgers University-Newark and California State University at Fullerton will select community college graduates as members of their second cohorts.

Each BOLD Scholar will receive a scholarship of up to $25,000 per academic year for educational expenses. Because the BOLD scholarship includes a generous financial award, intensive academic and career mentoring, a campus transformation project, and a team-building and cohort model, Scholars must reside on campus to participate in the BOLD program.