Why Do We Do It?

As academic requirements become more rigorous for high schools, the focus on the soft skills necessary to succeed are diminishing. Students who drop out of high school tend to earn less than the living wage and are more likely to succumb to negative pressures. One hundred percent of our students graduate from high school, are prepared for higher learning, and can compete for jobs in a global, information-based economy with 21st Century leadership skills.

How do we do it?

This four-year program exposes high school students to the tools and skillsets needed to achieve success after high school, while helping them identify careers that align with their spark [passion]. This curriculum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience each of UNL’s four pillars: Talent, Education, Career and Service. From SAT prep to navigating the college financial aid process, students are provided with key opportunities develop themselves academically while honing their leadership skills and serving their communities nationally.

4 Pillars of Focus. 4 Transformative Years.

Students who attend Leadership Academy will participate within their school or during a city-wide session at a UNL location, and learn the topics listed below. Upon successful completion, each student receives a National Leadership Certificate backed by Emory University.

  • 9th grade [Talent]:  Youth personally assess and develop their “sparks”, while working to understand how their talents can be used to power their education and careers, and benefit their community.
  • 10th Grade [Education]:  Youth are provided with an in-depth look into the power of education and how it’s used as a vehicle to success. They are equipped with tools that assist in goal setting and navigating the post-secondary education process.
  • 11th Grade [Career]: Youth hone the skills necessary to be considered job-ready. Opportunities are provided to apply their newly obtained skills in real-world experiences; including job shadowing, resume preparation and job interviews.
  • 12th Grade [Service]: Youth expand their perspective on philanthropy and service through research, interaction with service leaders, and organizing and implementing service projects.
  • Academy students also attend four “Spark Days” that provide an extended and meaningful experience based upon each of the four pillars: Talent, Education, Career and Service.

Fuel your spark