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Girls Leadership Program

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WE BELIEVE IN... Supporting Women in Leadership Roles

In our communities, in our work places, and in our homes.


The Red Ants Pants Foundation Girls Leadership Program is designed to inspire hope for our youth, develop pride in our rural communities, and foster strength and courage in our leadership. The Girls Leadership Program builds highly competent and confident leaders, cultivated specifically to build upon the strength of girls from rural Montana, including the sovereign tribal nations within Montana.  Topics include communication, team building, self-awareness, self-care, emotional intelligence, project planning, project management, conflict resolution, and resiliency.


The Red Ants Pants Foundation Girls Leadership Program consists of a cohort of eight girls, eight female mentors and a team of professional facilitators. All participants attend three multi-day retreats throughout the year. Between retreats, participants develop a community leadership project and engage in a one-on-one mentoring designed to provide support, accountability, and assistance as needed.


The Red Ants Pants Foundation Girls Leadership Program participants must be Montana residents - inclusive of the sovereign tribal nations within Montana - entering their junior year of high school, have access to transportation, and be able to attend ALL events. The only expense required by participants is travel to and from each retreat, located in central Montana. If this is a difficulty, stipends may be available for assistance.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Amy Freund, Red Ants Pants Foundation Program Manager at

Before this program, I did not know I had the ability to be a strong leader in my community. I also did not know what an honor it is to be a strong rural woman. I now have the confidence and drive to empower others to make an impact.

-2018 Red Ants Pants Foundation Girls Leadership Participant

Girls Leadership 2023-2024 Program Dates

Application Open:

May 17 – September 13, 2023

Fall Retreat:
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22, 2023

Virtual Training:

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 | 6-7:30 p.m.

Winter Retreat:
Friday, February 2 – Sunday, February 4, 2024

Virtual Training:
Wednesday, March 20, 2024 | 6-7:30 p.m.

Spring Retreat & Graduation:
Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28, 2024

Red Ants Pants Music Festival:
July, 2024 (optional but highly encouraged!)

*Retreat location is 30 minutes north of Bozeman, Montana. All retreats begin with dinner on Friday and conclude with lunch on Sunday*

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Please check out our FAQ page for more detailed information on program logistics.

2023 - 2024 GLP Application
Apply by September 13!

Shannon Stober - Lead Facilitator

Shannon is a nationally recognized leadership trainer, facilitator, and coach, as well as a skilled program strategist with more than 20 years of experience in the youth development field. She holds certifications in youth entrepreneurship, youth life coaching, youth mental health first-aid, and youth prevention theory, all of which informed the design of the Girls Leadership Program. Prior to launching her company, Jump Start Training and Development, she worked as the Statewide Training Officer for the Montana Governor’s Office of Community Service, Program Manager for Montana Campus Compact, and Director of Programs with the Montana Conservation Corps. Stober is quick to tell you that the Girls Leadership Program is her “heart-program”, and is known for her positive energy, strength of character, and humor.

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Krystle Gawel-Kulesa - Lead Mentor

Krystle serves Montana children and families through her work as a therapist on the adolescent acute unit at Shodair Children's Hospital and supervises University of Montana master's level social work students as they complete their field work. Mentoring allows her to instill a sense of confidence and competence in emerging leaders while supporting their ability to utilize these skills within their personal and professional relationships. Helping women find and use their voices is integral to successful and supportive communities and she has been honored to see this time and time again as a mentor in this impactful program.

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Ruby Stenberg - Girls Leadership Program Intern

Ruby was a participant in the first Girls Leadership Program in 2018, she graduated from Manhattan High School in 2020 and began pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She has worked as a paraprofessional at the Big Timber Grade School and enjoys using the leadership skills gained from the Girls Leadership Program to mentor her students. Connecting with students and showing them they can lead by example in their daily lives is one of the reasons she is becoming a teacher. She is excited to contribute and give back to this life-shaping, influential program.

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