About the YWLA

Launched in January 2015, the Young Women’s Leadership Alliance (YWLA) is the YWCA Richmond’s young women’s professional board, with members between the ages of 25 to 35 who are dedicated to advancing YWCA Richmond’s vision. YWLA connects, equips, and inspires the next generation of leaders in RVA.


The 2018-19 Application Period is open!

2019-2020 YWLA Application

Applications for the YWLA will be accepted from November 1 – March 15. A Membership Committee member will contact you in March or April with additional information or to schedule an interview.  If invited to join the YWLA, your term will start in July. A Membership Interest Form is also available year round and a Recruitment Meet & Greet for interested individuals to meet with members of the YWLA Membership Committee will be held in September of each year.

Current Members

  • Hadeel Abouhasira, Williams Mullen
  • Felicia BowmanHealth Brigade
  • Kaila Bradley, TM & KM Construction
  • Britany Brown, Action Alliance
  • Elizabeth Creasman, UMFS
  • Kelsey Croston, RA Realtors
  • Cassie Cunningham, Children’s Home Society of Virginia
  • Lindsey Dombert, VCU
  • Catherine Estevez, Communities in Schools of Virginia
  • Deanna Ferguson, Capital One
  • Raina FieldsVCU
  • Sienna Fleming, UPS
  • Danielle Gilbert, Bon Secours Health System
  • Paige HarlandAlexis Advisors
  • Britni Higginbotham, Full Circle Grief Center
  • Beth Hinchcliffe, Apple Hospitality REIT
  • Rachelle Hunley, VCU Health
  • Rachel Johnson, Capital One
  • Sarah Konigsburg, UNOS
  • Lindsey Lakoff, SunTrust Mortgage
  • Lauren Lopez, Dominion Energy
  • Katie McCall, Chesterfield County Public Schools
  • Mary Grace Miller, Virginia Office of the Attorney General
  • Katie Moody, Richmond Ambulance Authority
  • Amy O’Callaghan, Snagajob
  • Elizabeth Papile, MAXX Potential
  • Louise Schutte, Capital One
  • Nathasa Smith, T-Mobile
  • Shannon Smith, Richmond Ambulance Authority
  • Hannah Updike, Planned Parenthood
  • Carleigh Walters, Rolls-Royce



The Young Women’s Leadership Alliance’s signature event, Conversation Piece provides an opportunity for community members to attend a unique, live art event and get a glimpse into the creative process of each participating artist while supporting the work of YWCA’s early childhood education program. This event will allow guests the opportunity to explore the evening’s theme of empower RVA through live art creation, dynamic conversations, and interactive exhibits highlighting the organization’s work to empower children. Artists will create pieces live throughout the event around the Empower RVA theme, which will be available at the end of the event through a silent auction.

All proceeds from this event benefit YWCA Richmond’s early childhood education program, The Sprout School, and emphasize the importance preschool and early education can have on a child. Join us for a night filled with food, drink, and live entertainment as we celebrate YWCA Richmond and focus on the art of empowerment to impact our youngest community members. More details about this year’s Conversation Piece event to come!

The Young Women’s Leadership Alliance (YWLA), YWCA Richmond’s young professionals’ board, is excited to announce an opportunity for a rising woman leader to be recognized for their impact to our community and enhance their future leadership opportunities with an investment in leadership development.

The Rising Outstanding Woman Award (ROWA)is an annual award recognizing an emerging leader who embodies YWCA Richmond’s values of commitment, respect, integrity and collaboration and who, through their own influence, passion and action(s) empower RVA.

Rising Outstanding Woman Award will be awarded to a woman who

  • Has made and/or will make a significant contribution towards social good in Central Virginia.
  • Has displayed outstanding promise for continuing service and leadership.
  • Is between the ages of 25 and 40 years old.


  • ROWA winners will receive an award honoring her  community involvement and the opportunity to attend a mutually agreed upon leadership development experience of her choice at a value of up to $2,500 to positively impact her future leadership capabilities.
  • The award is presented annually with the winner announced during the Women’s Leadership Forum Breakfast held on March 27, 2019.

Nominations are due October 31, 2019 for consideration for the 2020 Rising Outstanding Woman Award. 

2020 ROWA Nomination Form

Questions?  Email ywlainfo@ywcarichmond.org.

Congratulations to our 2019 ROWA recipient, Alexandra Hicks!

Alexandra Hicks is the Founder of Nerd Squad, a literacy program for elementary students designed to instill the “love for reading.” Her idea blossomed into reality after her September 2016 presentation for Feast RVA, a local philanthropic organization from which Nerd Squad won a grant that helped develop a literacy program at Blackwell Community Center’s Parks & Rec after-school program.

Through Nerd Squad, Alex’s mission is to bring out the book-based super powers in children. She wants children to know that they have super powers that get stronger when they exercise the power of their brilliant young minds. Alex plans to expand the program to other Parks and Rec centers in the Richmond area and beyond.

Locally, Alex has been sharing Nerd Squad throughout her community through presentations organizations & events such as Partners in Parenting’s Encouraging Literacy in Your Child seminar, Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA), Nerd Squad Power Readers Portrait Wall, various summer camps, among many others. She has been featured in Richmond Magazine’s Arthur Ashe Commemorative Issue and Sunday Story and in a news segment on NBC 12 WWBT with Carla Redditte.

After pursuing a degree in accounting and working in the corporate arena, Alex turned her focus to her true passion, literacy. Answering the call to “give her all” to help fill a need in her community, she planted the seed of Nerd Squad and it has taken root.

Learn more about NERD SQUAD at www.neighborhoodnerdsquad.com.