The Pass the Torch for Women Foundation was formed out of an Indianapolis organization launched in 2011 called the Mentoring Women’s Network. The network was made up of seasoned professionals who joined together to share best practices and to support each other professionally, in the hopes to grow women leaders. The network of professionals continued to increase in size with hundreds of executives and professionals. In the summer of 2014, the nonprofit organization, now known as the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation was formed with a vision of a world where all women are equitably represented at all levels of leadership in business, government and organizations.
The mission of the organization evolved to address the needs of women throughout their career life style. The funds raised through individual donations, grants, and corporate sponsorship allow the Foundation to provide mentors and professional training for female college students with the goal of transitioning them into the workforce successfully. The notable student program, called Project Grow, graduated fifteen (15) female students in its first year (2014) and in 2019, the Foundation is anticipating graduating a total of three hundred (300) students from Indiana University, IUPUI, Ivy Tech Community College and Bay Path University. Today, the Foundation has over five hundred individuals in the community and has raised over $1.2M to date to support the mission.
The connections that are made enable students to grow both personally and professionally, as they are matched with top mentors across the nation – a program called the 500 Circle. The 500 Circle mentors are individuals, both men and women, who demonstrate the desire to give back through mentoring relationships and have demonstrated success in their own careers.
The other program the Foundation has created is to serve developing professionals, those who are entry to mid-level of their career. These women take part in mentoring training through their onboarding process and are invited to exclusive workshops that are aimed to help them grow both personally and professionally. All developing professionals in the program serve as a mentee in their first round and then have the opportunity to serve as a mentor to a female college student. Through programming, networking opportunities, and mentoring, the Foundation is able to sustain the mission to help grow future women leaders.