The GIVEN Institute

The GIVEN Institute seeks to activate the gifts of women that both the world and the Church are very much in need of. The primary goal of the GIVEN Institute is to help young women receive the gift that they are, realize the gifts they’ve been given, and respond with the gift that only they can give. This mission is materialized through the Institute’s flagship event, the GIVEN Catholic Women’s Leadership Forum, as well as year-round programming such as regional events, leadership skills training, and prayer initiatives.

Meet the Executive Director

Michelle Hillaert brings more than 25 years of experience in roles relating to technology and communications to GIVEN. With an undergraduate degree in Communication Arts from Franciscan University of Steubenville, her portfolio includes emergency management, web, application and graphic design, marketing and social media management, podcasting, and online consulting. In her previous employment, Michelle played a major role in the development and improvement of internal systems as well as the development and expansion of the Quality Management System. She also managed processes and communication with stakeholders in major application builds of state-run programs.

In addition to this work, Michelle has dedicated herself to helping women live their full potential as a doula, life and fitness coach, motivational speaker and author. Having four daughters, nine sisters, and having journeyed with many women over the years, Michelle has experienced first-hand how as women, we often hesitate to respond with our gifts because we don’t recognize that we are uniquely gifted and that the world – especially those we encounter on a daily basis – needs us to share these gifts. In light of this, she has a passion and proven capacity for flourishing young women in the Church through mentoring and leadership development.

Suggested Interview Questions

  1. Can you tell our audience what the GIVEN Institute is and how it got started?
  2. What does the application process consist of for any young woman discerning involvement with GIVEN?
  3. How are GIVEN’s mentors vetted and ultimately chosen to accompany those in the program? What kind of formation do they provide?
  4. Who are some notable GIVEN alumnae? Can you explain their projects and what they are doing now?

Media Requests

Contact for interview requests.