The purpose of Lift While You Lead is to build connections through mentoring and collaborative discussions. Launched in 2011, the program built a bridge of mentoring between students at UC Merced and women's studies students in the Merced Union High School District. In the summer of 2015, we expanded the building of connections to reach middle school girls entering the 8th grade. These middle school girls are receiving mentoring from MUHSD high school students and UC Merced students. The final bridge, that we are seeking to build, will connect our UC Merced students with female leaders from various industries and professions throughout our community.