Funded by The Pussycat Foundation, the BOLD Women’s Leadership Initiative is a pioneering program cultivating courageous leadership in young women during the college years and beyond.

BOLD focuses on facilitating opportunities for women’s career development and networking through scholarship funding, programming, and post-graduation fellowships. In the spirit of Helen Gurley Brown, the program equips young women to be innovative agents of change in whatever respective field or industry they decide to pursue. By awarding scholarship and fellowship money, the Initiative will mitigate financial burdens while allowing young leaders to pursue their interests. Ultimately, the program will empower young college women to become leaders in their life and careers after college.

BOLD Selection

If you are interested in applying for the BOLD Scholarship, please do so by noon on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. There will be a BOLD information session on Wednesday, April 15 at 4 p.m. EST via Zoom. Email for more information.

A complete application consists of this form and a copy of your unofficial transcript and a photo sent to

The criteria candidates must meet to be considered for the BOLD scholarship are as follows:

  • Junior standing (as of the Fall Semester)
  • Students who identify as women
  • Full-time enrollment
  • Good academic standing
  • Exceptional leadership ability
  • Demonstrated ability to work well in groups

BOLD Scholars are required to reside on campus for the duration of the official programming. Students planning to study abroad in Fall 2020 may apply. BOLD Scholars may participate in unofficial programming in the first semester.

From the pool of all applicants, finalists will be invited for individual half-hour interviews via Zoom on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 sometime 3–6 p.m.  The Middlebury cohort of seven women will be selected by early summer 2020. Students will be selected on the basis of financial need, merit, and leadership potential, with an eye toward the creation of a diverse cohort.

Program Highlights


The Pussycat Foundation will provide significant support to the development of young women leaders through the allocation of scholarship funding to BOLD Scholars. 

Helen Gurley Brown Fellowships & Internships

The Initiative gives scholars the opportunity to research and develop their own post-graduation fellowship in support of their individual career goals. In addition, the funds can also be used to fund internship experiences for BOLD scholars.

Magic Grants

In an effort to effect positive social change, BOLD Scholars may apply for a Magic Grant to organize and execute a transformation project in their campus, local or international communities, with priority given to projects that address women’s issues. Magic Grants will be awarded through a central fund at the Foundation. Students interested in pursuing this opportunity will need to submit a proposal and budget to the Foundation detailing their idea and justifying their budget. 

Examples of BOLD’s transformation projects over the years have been:

  • Cohort 1: Thrive Guide - A survival guide for all Middlebury students (May 2018)
  • Cohort 2: Be BOLD - A Women’s Leadership Conference (March 2019)
  • Cohort 3: Trip to Kolkata India to teach English to elementary school students, culminating with the planning and execution of the Tulipdale School’s annual Peace Fair (January 2020)


Middlebury BOLD will host an annual retreat to include BOLD Scholars, mentors, with the possibility of women leaders in the BOLD network across sectors. Themes can include issues related to women’s leadership in the workforce, being a change agent, and inclusion and equity on BOLD college/university campuses.