Welcome to Athena!
55% of students in Barnard's class of 2026 identify as women of color.
78% of them were president or co-president of a club or organization in high school.
Our acceptance rate for the class of 2026: 9%.
The Athena Center for Leadership meets these students where they are, with an approach to leadership development that uncovers connections, fosters collaborations, and recognizes the complex nature of challenges that lie ahead of us as well as the abundance that exists within our diverse communities at Barnard, inside Columbia University, and in New York City.
Athena is a hub for changemakers at Barnard College, itself a center for leadership for over 130 years.
We know leadership is more than a position — it's a practice. We bring aspiring, emerging, and experienced changemakers together to practice leading change through entrepreneurship, advocacy, policy and government, technology, research and scholarship, film, and more.
SPARK, our event series, ignites thinking about how change happens and where each of us can begin — or continue. Our communities of practice are a place for hands-on learning, risk-taking, action, and reflection. Participants receive funding or support accessing funding to help them prioritize this work. And the Athena Film Festival is our own way of leading change, in partnership with Women and Hollywood.