The Online News Association and The Poynter Institute Tuesday announced the names of 25 women selected for the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, an initiative that will provide leadership training for women from news organizations throughout the United States.

The participants, who were selected from a pool of nearly 500 applicants, will visit Poynter in mid-April for free training designed to enable them to grow as leaders. The classes are designed to be an open forum for discussion and networking and will allow participants to leave with a "built-in support system," according to a release from Poynter.

“This was an amazing and intense process,” said Kelly McBride, Poynter’s vice president of academic programs. “Amazing because we discovered so many journalists doing incredible work. Intense, because there were so many well-qualified women craving leadership training. We knew there was demand for this, but now we see how significant that demand is.”

The participants hail from news organizations including The Washington Post, NPR, The Atlantic, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Politico and The Guardian, among others. Many hold senior roles in their respective newsrooms and come from a variety of new media and legacy properties.

“We congratulate the talented women who will make up and contribute to this incredible first cohort,” said Jane McDonnell, ONA Executive Director. “Because of the quality of the applicants, we’re already planning another session that will focus on promising emerging leaders and their specific needs.”

The participants are:

The McClatchy Foundation will fund up to three additional leadership academies for women in digital journalism, according to the release. Poynter and ONA will host the next academy in spring 2016.