Leadership Development for High School Students
The Leadership Institute is an innovative and unique program designed for highly motivated students from around the world. This program consists of three foundational elements: academic content, leadership development, and the Action Plan. You will work with outstanding faculty, undergraduates, and peers in a highly immersive and interactive program. In each course, you will focus intensely on an academic topic: science, international issues, development, global health, and social entrepreneurship to name a few. It is in the context of exploring and understanding these areas that you will also develop your leadership skills. You will:
- Explore the leadership challenges associated with complex social issues
- Identify and analyze the strengths and limitations of your current leadership style
- Develop an appreciation for leadership styles different from your own
- Strengthen your public-speaking skills
- Refine your listening and problem-solving skills
- Expand your ability to work in diverse groups
- Apply the Social Change Model of Leadership Development
- Develop an Action Plan project that you can bring home to your school or community
Leadership will be practiced and explored both within and outside the classroom through a variety of workshops, discussions, and activities. One highlight of our programs includes an outdoor Challenge Course experience in which students are asked to complete a variety of challenges. In this context, students have the opportunity to practice leadership through effective teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Students also participate in workshops during and outside of class on public speaking, listening skills, leadership styles, diversity issues, and the Social Change Model of Leadership.
Your Action Plan
Understanding complex problems is a lifelong pursuit that requires ongoing intellectual engagement and reflection. Our aim is to empower and motivate students to continue to educate themselves and others when they return to their home communities. We believe that the development of socially responsible leadership comes through thoughtful practice and engagement. We hope students will continue to ask—What skills and knowledge do I need to create positive change? How can I identify and utilize available resources to make this happen? While on campus, we help our students define the issues that they are passionate about and construct an Action Plan for understanding and addressing them. We will work with you to set realistic goals, identify mentors, and anticipate challenges. Through the experience of developing and pursuing the Action Plan, you will have the opportunity to cultivate the skills, behaviors, and knowledge of socially responsible leadership.
We encourage you to consider topics of interest before you arrive on campus, but you aren’t expected to do any work on this prior to your arrival. Your instructors will help you design a plan that fits your interests and skills.
The development of an Action Plan is an important component of this course and students will present their projects to their peers and instructors.
Below are examples of Leadership Institute Student Action Plans:
- Develop composting systems or recycling programs
- Work with administrators to strengthen curriculum on international issues
- Tutor middle school children to prepare them for high school
- Collaborate with school administrators to stop purchasing uniforms made in sweatshops
- Assist with voter registration drives and voter awareness campaigns
- Raise scholarship funds for students to attend community colleges
- Eliminate the provision and use of Styrofoam in county buildings
- Create an art therapy program for adolescents with HIV
National or International
- Develop social media for an anti-human trafficking organization
- Lobby for state legislation regarding school testing
- Raise funds to build schools in Pakistan
- Launch an awareness campaign about college access and financial aid
Click here for our Action Plan Library