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High School Leadership Academy

High School Leadership Academy

Made possible by a grant from the Topeka Community Foundation, the High School Leadership Academy (HSLA) is facilitated by the Washburn University Leadership Institute and strives to develop leadership skills in high school students and create a greater awareness about ways they can become involved in influencing positive change in their communities. The program will also introduce participants to potential career opportunities in the region post-graduation.

The 2019 HSLA will be held June 9-15, 2019 at Washburn University. Participants will be housed on campus and will be mentored by current Washburn University students serving as peer mentors. Throughout the week, participants will be exposed to the adaptive leadership framework and learn to distinguish between technical and adaptive challenges in the community. The program will introduce concepts from the Kansas Leadership Center, including awareness and application of the four competencies of Diagnosing the Situation, Managing Self, Energizing Others, and Intervening Skillfully. The program will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses and organizations and provide awareness of the many ways leadership is demonstrated throughout the city of Topeka.

Calling All Shawnee County High School Juniors!

Participation in the High School Leadership Academy is limited to rising high school juniors in Shawnee County. Selection for participation will occur through a nomination process by each school followed by an application by each nominee. Each Shawnee County high school will be represented, with a maximum of 25 total participants (each school should have 2-3 representatives).

Interested in participating? Visit with your high school counselor or principal to learn about your school's nomination process.

Program Structure

Participants will arrive on campus on Sunday and will be housed in Lincoln Hall. Throughout the week, students will experience site visits, tours, interactive presentations and guest speakers. The program will be held on campus as well as in a variety of locations throughout the Topeka community. Sessions will be interactive and engaging, and each day will include social activities as well as time for debriefing and processing in small groups.

The week-long experience will conclude on with a banquet on Friday with participants, peer mentors, and community partners, and will also feature an opportunity for participants to showcase some of what they learned throughout the week.

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Washburn University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or marital or parental status. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Pamela Foster, Equal Opportunity Director/Title IX Coordinator, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621, 785.670.1509,

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