Assemblymember Salas Secures $500,000 Investment for Local Leadership Academy

The 2022-23 State Budget includes direct funding for youth leadership and entrepreneurial development


BAKERSFIELD, CA – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) presented the ShePower Leadership Academy with a ceremonial check for $500,000 to expand opportunities at the Academy. Salas was joined by ShePower Leadership Academy President & CEO Arleana Waller, ShePower staff, students, and community members to celebrate the impactful investment in local youth.

“I am thrilled to bring half a million dollars to give our young women access to leadership training opportunities in our community,” said Assemblymember Salas. “These opportunities help students get the skills, training, and experience needed to be successful in any field, and get the tools they need to become the next generation of amazing local leaders. I am excited to see the bright minds that come out of the Leadership Academy, and the incredible things these students will go on to do.”

“When you invest in girls you change the world,” said Dr. Arleana Waller, President / CEO of ShePower Leadership Academy. “We’re so grateful for Assemblymember Rudy Salas’s continued support and investment in developing the next generation of women leaders through his budget allocation of half a million dollars for our ShePower leadership development program and the Kern Youth Entrepreneur Initiative. One of our goals is further expand the reach and impact of the ShePower Leadership Experience throughout Kern County and the Central Valley to as many girls as possible regardless of race, religion or socioeconomic status. Contributions like this are invaluable in helping bring that mission to fruition.”

ShePower Leaders is a non-profit organization that offers leadership, personal development, and peer mentoring programs for girls. Guided by supportive adults and peers, ShePower engages in age-appropriate activities that are girl-led, cooperative, and hands-on, providing vital leadership and life skills in an organic and intentional way. ShePower’s programs are designed to help young girls build self-esteem, develop leadership skills, and recognize their value. The ShePower Leadership Experience encourages girls to discover themselves, connect with others, and to positively impact their community. ShePower serves girls ages 8 through 18, and has helped more than 600 students.


Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.