Registration is now open for The New Opportunity School for Women’s (NOSW) summer session June 9–29, 2019.

Now celebrating its 15th graduating class, NOSW’s mission is to improve the educational, financial, and personal circumstances of low-income women who live in or hail from Southern Appalachia.

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.

For more information and to request an application, contact the NOSW Director, Jennie Harpold, at 828-898-8905 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Learn more about the New Opportunity School for Women at https://www.lmc.edu/academics/nosw/index.htm