Take your career to new heights with Momentum Upward—apply now


Upward 2022 grads
Upward 2022 Grads (Momentum)

Since 2019, more than 220 women have graduated from the Momentum Upward Early-Career Program, and they’re taking applications now for their 2024 class. We spoke to one woman from each of the five graduating classes to learn how the program has impacted her career. Keep reading to learn their stories and how you can apply by August 31.

Momentum Upward: what you need to know

Andrea McCaskey, Momentum Upward
Andrea McCaskey is Momentum’s Statewide Director of Programs (Momentum)
  • Who it’s for: early-career women
    • First cohort: high-potential individual contributors with less than five years of experience
    • Second cohort: emerging leaders with approximately five to 15 years of experience
  • What it does: develops the next generation of talented leadership by leveraging Momentum’s expertise + alumnae network
    • Sample topics: range from emotional intelligence to peer-to-leader transition and more
  • When: February-October 2024
    • How: Half-day interactive, classroom-style sessions facilitated by training professionals + Momentum alumae
    • Between sessions: participants complete assignments, meet with their co-mentoring group + enjoy networking opportunities with experienced senior leaders
  • Cost: $2500, usually paid in full or in part by the participant’s organization, with a limited number of needs-based scholarships available
  • Apply now through August 31

We spoke to five graduates to learn more. Here is what they told us.

Upward 1: Tacita Thompson

Tacita Thompson, Momentum Upward
Tacita Thompson (Momentum Upward)

Tacita Thompson is currently working remotely from her home in Tuscaloosa for Birmingham-based Fast Slow Motion, where she’s been promoted twice and plans to stay as long as they’ll keep her.

“Momentum has built a network of amazing women that I can lean on and support, provided opportunities to participate in the mentorship program that have given me confidence and perspective, connected me to a career at Fast Slow Motion which has been a blessing in my life.

Momentum also encouraged me to give back to the Community through leadership opportunities at Girl Spring, where I have been serving as VP of the Junior Board for the past two years. Momentum’s Upward program has changed the trajectory of my career and I am forever grateful.”

Upward 2: Amber Grant

Amber Anderson, Momentum Upward
Amber Anderson (Matt Windsor, UAB University Relations)

When Amber Anderson Grant was enrolled in Upward, she was a Learning Development Specialist at UAB, with a focus on staff. Now she works as an organizational development specialist, where she focuses on developing leaders, managers, directors and others who can make changes across the team.

She first became interested in Momentum when she saw professional women in Birmingham whose executive presence was opening the doors for many other women to contribute their leadership. She was inspired by their problem-solving, collaboration and the ways they brought new initiatives and programs across UAB and the state of Alabama.

The first skill she learned was intentional communication and what that looks like in today’s world.

“As an organizational specialist, I work on a campus with 20,000 employees. I work primarily with faculty and staff and I teach and learn and engage with them on how to build teams effectively. In today’s world, it’s so important that leaders learn how to lead versus manage. By leading, we have to foster relationships, communicate well, problem solve, and most importantly, build a team.”

Amber has used the communication skills she learned to grow professionally and in relationship with people that she meets in her day job and in her personal life.

Upward 3: Sarah Beth Magette

When we spoke to Sarah Beth Magette in May 2023, she said Upward really made a difference in her career and her life:

When she began the program, she was a manager, then was promoted to senior manager, and now is a partner at Warren Averett. Sarah credits much of her career mobility to the skills she learned in Upward.

Upward 4: Jamie Lewis

Jamie Lewis, Momentum
Jamie Lewis at her Upward graduation. (Momentum Upward)

Jamie Lewis serves as the Finance Director at Black Belt Community Foundation and Co-Chair of the Upward Alumnae Council’s Social Committee.

The network and resources from her Momentum experience helped her land her new role just before graduation.

“Momentum helped me transition from semi-unemployed as my grant was ending, to employed in a role that’s aligned with my career development plan. It was truly the network and resources that led me to this position. If I hadn’t gone through Momentum, I wouldn’t have been aware of my strengths—such as relationship-building—and how to use them to advance in my leadership abilities and roles.”

Upward 5: Kayla Jones

Kayla Jones, Upward Momentum
Kayla Jones (Momentum Upward)

Kayla Jones has worked at Harbert Management Corporation since 2021, where she was recently promoted. Encouraged by the leaders at Harbert to apply to Upward, she said “it helped me develop my skills and learn how to lead here at Harbert.”

Since she’s new to Birmingham, Kayla appreciates how the program has helped her expand her network and connect with the community.

“Upward has provided the social interaction and the network of people that I need to get other viewpoints and perspectives. I’ve loved getting to learn new thoughts and ideas from the women in this program.”

Ready to level-up your career? Apply for Upward today.

Sponsored by:

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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