New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College now accepting applications for summer 2018 session

The New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College will kick off its 14th year during the summer session June 10–30, 2018. Registration for the session is now open.

The program’s mission is to improve the educational, financial and personal circumstances of low-income women who live in or hail from the Southern Appalachian region.

The three-week residential session includes instruction in creative writing, public speaking, interviewing and Appalachian literature. Experienced volunteer instructors also teach basic accounting, computer and resume writing skills and how to navigate the college application process. Internships in the local community provide the opportunity to explore career paths. Women participating in the program attend cultural events, such as concerts, theatre productions, and a series of lectures related to local Appalachian culture.

There is no cost to the students attending this program. Assistance with childcare costs and travel costs are available. Applicants should have or be working toward a GED or high school diploma, be of low-income and have an interest in a new career and/or higher education.

“Our mission is to help women improve their personal, educational and financial circumstances,” said Jennie Harpold, director of the NOSW at Lees-McRae. “Women who would benefit from our program are those who really want to improve their situation, but need access to additional resources. We supply the tools they need to fulfill their potential.” 

Founded in 1987 in Berea, Kentucky, the New Opportunity School for Women opened an expansion site at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk in 2005. The program at Lees-McRae has now graduated more than 130 women.

For more information and to request an application, contact the NOSW Director, Jennie Harpold, at 828-898-8905 or

Learn more about the New Opportunity School for Women here >>

By Nina MastandreaMarch 01, 2018