From our Founder Cheresa Purnell

In 2015, the Next Generation (NGen) Council and I set out on a mission to build a network of young professional women who support the holistic development of future trailblazers through the conduits of leadership, service, and philanthropy. With that goal in mind, we founded the 40 Under 40 Young Women Professionals League.

Overall, I am still truly amazed by the synergy of the 40 Under 40 Young Women Professionals League and what we have been able to achieve in less than a year. At our next award ceremony, we will induct our next 40 young women leaders into our 40 Under 40 Young Women Professionals League. I am excited and eager to continue this work of building young women leaders.

Our Mission

The YWPL’s mission is to build a network of young professional African American women who support the holistic development of girls as future leaders through the conduits of leadership, service, and philanthropy.

We select 40 young African American women who are inducted into the league at our annual award ceremony. In just two years, the annual awards event is standing room only and has been featured in Rolling Out and Jet Magazine.

Our Vision

To support college retention and completion through seeding a quarterly financial contribution of $40 to the D2F College Connection which provides scholarships, internships, & mentorship to D2F college participants.

To attend quarterly meetings and personal development sessions that allow awardees to connect with members and gain access to top industry professionals, “GEMS” while receiving valuable tips to enhance their business acumen.

What we do

When you invest in women, you invest in whole communities.

Community Education

Enhancing understanding and awareness of the impact of education while promoting community responsibility and action.

Food/Clothing Drives

Collect food clothing and/or monetary donations for our favorite community-based food organizations in and around Chicagoland.

Woment Empowerment

Encouraging full participation in building stronger economies and achieving internationally agreed goals for the development of women.

Economic Development

When women are educated and employed they have more control over their lives and can better care for their families.


Through our grassroots partnerships, we invest in women's education, livelihoods, and leadership.


We model respect, non-violence, safety, and equality while working to raise the voice and profile of women in the Chicagoland area.

Get Involved!

We LOVE our supporters. Join our community of supporters today!






Completed Causes



Our Executive Team

Meet our Executive Board