Leadership Development for High School Students
The Leadership Institute is an innovative and unique program designed for highly motivated students from around the world. You will work with outstanding faculty, interact with world class scholars and local activists, participate in high level simulations, analyze case studies, present findings to your peers, and visit relevant sites in Rhode Island.
In each course, you will focus intensely on a set of social issues: technology, international issues, human rights, global health and social entrepreneurship to name a few. It is in the context of exploring and understanding these issues that you will also develop your leadership skills. You will:
- Understand the leadership challenges of complex social issues
- Identify and analyze the strengths and limitations of your current leadership style
- Develop an appreciation for the advantages of leadership styles different from your own
- Strengthen your public speaking skills
- Refine your listening skills and problem solving skills
- Enhance your understanding of and abilities to work in diverse groups
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 a Low Ropes 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
We believe that it is not enough to understand complex social issues, the questions are, "what will we do with what we know? How will we serve others? How might we work for long term social change?"
We help our students define the issues that they are passionate about and construct a plan for addressing them. We work with you to set realistic goals, identify mentors and resource people and anticipate challenges.
We encourage you to think about some topics before you come to campus, but most students don’t actually know what their action plan will be until they start working on it in class. Your instructors will help you design a plan that fits your interests and skills.
Below are examples of Leadership Institute Student Action Plans:
- Led or assisted with voter registration drives
- Organized a concert of Freedom Songs from the civil rights movement
- Created an art therapy program for adolescents with HIV
- Tutored middle school children to prepare them for high school
- Worked with administrators to strengthen curriculum on international issues
- Worked with school administrators to stop purchasing uniforms made in sweatshops
- Developed educational program focused on Darfur for entire high school
- Developed composting systems or recycling programs
- Constructed a wind turbine at school
- Converted school buses to bio-diesel
- Converted light bulbs at school to CFLs
- Educated other students about alternative energy resources
- Eliminated Styrofoam in county buildings
- Raised funds to build schools in Pakistan
- Raised scholarship funds for young people to attend community colleges
- Raised funds for Heifer International