Leadership U

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Designed for students entering their junior year in high school, the Leadership U program empowers students to learn by doing. Students can expect to:

  • Work in teams to discuss, reflect upon and develop solutions for problems that affect them and their peers in the community.
  • Develop mentoring relationships with adult community leaders.
  • Learn about Howard County’s government, businesses and services.
  • Hone their presentation skills.

“I learned so much from Leadership U. I was given the amazing opportunity to work in a group that helped kids battling cancer. It was so rewarding to learn how to plan our project. I also learned about working with others, both inside and outside my immediate group. I am so thankful I participated in this program.” – Sophie Skalny

Learn more about LU at an upcoming information session:

  • January 31: Miller Library
  • February 11: Central Library
  • March 7: Miller Library

All information sessions are from 7-8 p.m.

Click here for the LU Program Overview

Click here for the Benefits of LU

Photos from Leadership U 2018

Leadership U is a four-month program and consists of the following components:

  • A week-long summer program of team building, leadership skills development, tours of county facilities and identification of issues affecting youth in Howard County.
  • A fall session focusing on community service projects created and implemented by the students.
  • Program cost: $925. A limited amount of financial assistance is available, which must be requested at the time of application. Payment plans are available.

Leadership U is open to high school juniors who live or attend school in Howard County. Students may attend public or private school. Home-schooled students are also welcome. To be considered, students must apply during their sophomore year.

Students must have a desire to learn about their community and a willingness to volunteer. LU is a great way to meet new people from different schools who share similar interests in knowing more about their community and who want to make a positive impact.

The program kicks off in July with daily team-building sessions and learning activities and continues with bi-monthly fall meetings. The Leadership U schedule works for many busy students, even those who have fall sports or other activities.

For a full schedule, click here.

Leadership U graduates are encouraged to remain involved in the program by acting as student mentors to new Leadership U students and by spearheading their own community activities following graduation. In past years, graduates have participated in Christmas in April, March of Dimes walk-a-thon, Symphony of Lights, and various activities for senior citizens.

Some graduates continue to stay involved in the community by serving on local nonprofit boards and providing a youth perspective. A limited number of spots are available and students are matched based on availability and interest. Through guidance and training, students learn how to contribute and become an integral member of a community board.

Interested in Applying?

Information Sessions for the 2019 program are scheduled for the following dates (all from 7-8 pm):  January 31st (Miller Branch/HCL); February 11th (Central Branch/HCL); March 7th (Miller Branch/ HCL). Applications and reference forms will be available online beginning in January, 2019 for current high school sophomores. Students must contact their selected references and share the link to the reference form on the website. Applications and references are due March 14, 2019.  Personal interviews will be scheduled after application submission and students will be notified of their acceptance in May. The program begins in the summer preceding the student’s junior year. 

“LU provided me with the opportunity to see how I can stay engaged in the community as a student and future leader to affect others.”  -Tommy Na

APPLY NOW LU Reference Form LU Financial Assistance Form

Interested in Volunteering with LU?

If you enjoy working with high school students and want to help a motivated group of students make an impact on their community, please consider getting involved with Leadership U.

For information or to volunteer, contact Meg Ignacio at 410-730-4474 x115 or [email protected]

“Leadership U exposed me to networks of professionals in Howard County who share my passion for fostering social justice, which inspired me to further engage with my community and initiate action where it was needed and start a food pantry at my school.” – Madelyn Harris

Become a Mentor

As part of their leadership development, students work in teams and design their own community service projects. Adult mentors work closely with the teams, helping guide their efforts to produce valuable contributions to the community. Our teams of bright, energetic and dedicated teens meet twice a month on Sunday afternoons (from 2 – 4:30 p.m.) for 9 weeks, from August through December.

Click here for a detailed Mentor Job Description

 “I built a strong relationship with my mentor, Mrs. Karen, and the director, Ms. Meg, that will allow me to contact them with any questions, ideas or comments I have about future issues.” – Nina Bundy

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