The Young Women’s Personal Progress program is designed for young woman (ages 12-18) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Leaders of the program say that its purpose is designed so that it helps
- each young woman understand God’s will for her, encourages her to keep His commandments, and prepares her to make and keep sacred covenants. It provides ways for her to contribute to her home now and prepare for future responsibilities as a faithful woman, wife, mother, and Church leader. The program teaches a young woman how to make commitments, carry them out, and report her progress to a parent or leader. These are patterns she will use throughout her life to learn and improve as a woman (Church Website, Young Women: Personal Progress).
The Young Women's program teaches girls to particularly develop eight values:
- Divine Nature
- Individual Worth
- Choice and Accountability
- Good Works
In the Personal Progress program there are suggested goals for each of these values. To complete the program, a young woman must finish six “value experiences” and a ten-hour project for each value. This "Value Project" encompasses and applies what she has learned. Young women are also encouraged to live the standards of the Church as found in the For the Strength of the Youth pamphlet, keep a journal, and record their testimony of the Gospel and Jesus Christ.
Young women can work on the program at their own pace, but they are encouraged to finish at least nine goals each year they are in the program. They can work on the goals in any order, so for example, they do not have to start with faith and work through to integrity. If a young woman is not able to complete the program by the time she leaves Young Women's for Relief Society (at age 18) she can still work on it until her 19th birthday.
Young Women leaders are encouraged to have the young women plan activities that will help them complete the Personal Progress Program, but it should be done in such a way that each young woman is able to learn and grow individually through the experience. Leaders are also encouraged to complete the program if they have not already done so, as an example to those they lead.
When a young woman has completed all of the requirements, she is interviewed by her bishop, after which she is able to receive the Young Womanhood Recognition award. Many wards (congregations) choose to present this award to the young woman during sacrament meeting.