Bright Futures


For nearly 20 years, the Bright Futures Leadership Program has encouraged high school girls who show incredible promise to interrogate social constructs of race and gender. In recent years, we have seen that many girls who have the least access to leadership, confidence building, and empowerment training often reside in the most under-resourced Columbus neighborhoods.

In 2019, through a partnership with the City of Columbus Recreation & Parks Department, Bright Futures relaunched as a neighborhood-based leadership program for girls in middle school that provides confidence building and empowerment training focused on social justice concepts in local community centers in the Hilltop and South Side neighborhoods. Throughout the program, girls participate in activities and discussions about concepts like institutional racism and sexism and explore how those systems of oppression impact their self-image, worldview, and relationships with others. They build critical thinking skills and leave with the confidence to advocate for themselves and create change in their communities.

During this unprecedented time of uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic, our team is working hard to ensure the safety of our young participants while still providing quality programming. With that said, we have some exciting news! We will be offering a virtual, seven week long version of the Bright Futures program.

The Bright Futures curriculum invites girls to process who they are and the power they have to make the world around them a better place through fun and educational sessions that encourage critical thinking and community building. By discussing topics like racism, sexism and intersectionality, we aim to upend insecurities rooted in oppressive ideas and institutions, and inspire participants to advocate for social change.

If you know a young girl who could benefit from the Bright Futures program contact Lauren James: or 614-398-0476 for more information.

Sessions will take place virtually on a weekly basis.


The greatest aspect of this program was that I learned how not to be afraid. It is important to speak your mind, stand up for what is right, and protect yourself and others.
Anjali Tewari, Bright Futures graduate
I'm interested in learning more about how to join the Bright Futures program.