Leading Edge: High School Juniors and Seniors

Leading Edge provides rising high school juniors and seniors with leadership skills and with the knowledge and connections to empower them to get involved and make a difference in their community. The program goals and objectives are as follows:

ENRICH the lives of teens in our community by exposing them to various sectors in which leadership is found in our community and giving them the understanding of how specific organizations and leaders work to make our community better.

ENGAGE teens in our community in powerful discussions about the current issues of our community and engage them in practical applications of leadership skills and practices. 

EMPOWER teens in our community through first hand, interactive activities that build confidence, make community connections, and help them be leaders and the voices of teen perspective in our community.

CONNECT teens with a network of leaders and organizations in the community as well as students from across the Colorado Springs area.


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The program begins with a week-long “boot camp” in June, and continues with following five Wednesday sessions through July. Participants are expected to attend every session, and will also work together on a group project over the course of the program that will involve some work on their own time.

Summer 2017 Program Details:

Current Sophomores and Juniors only. 

  • Application deadline: April 15, 2017
  • June 5 - July 19; 
    • Boot camp week: June 5 - June 8: 9a-5p
    • Each Wednesday thereafter: June 14; June 21; June 28; July 12; July 19 *we do not meet the week of July 4th
  • Topics of discovery:
    • Arts and Culture 
    • Personality Types/Strengthens
    • Homelessness
    • Diversity and Inclusion  
    • Local History
    • Emotional Intelligence 
    • Innovation/S.T.E.M
    • Health: physical and mental 
    • Environment
    • Etiquette
    • Public Safety  
    • Fun
    • Community 

We believe civic engagement isn’t something you do when you turn 40 or retire. It is something young people can start right now, if they know what is going on and how to affect it. Helping teens know and understand our community is the challenge. Giving them the skills, connections, and real-life experience is the fun part. 

Application Process  

This program is only open to current sophomores and juniors. Once you begin the form you can not exit and return to the form. Each applicant must be nominated by a school administrator, counselor, teacher, and/or a civic leader. Applications open January 15, 2017 are due by April 15, 2017. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Due to the demand of this program we are conducting interviews in early Spring. Please apply regardless of your leadership experience or financial situation.  

You can only access the application once, please be prepared to complete the application once you begin. Below are the more specific questions you will be asked.

  • Parent/Guardian contact info
  • Household income (grant reporting purposes\scholarship)
  • What most define you as a person (ie. interests, goals, beliefs, activities, etc)? How would you describe yourself? 
  • If you could change one thing about Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region, what would it be and why? 
  • What benefit(s) and/or skill(s) do you hope to gain by participating in the Leading Edge program? 
  • Give an example of someone you consider a good leader (ie. parent, coach, politician, historical figure, etc)? What makes this person a good leader?
  • What type of organizations would you be interested in completing a project for (ie. specific name of organization or category such as "arts" or "mental health")?
  • Do you foresee any potential scheduling conflicts in regards to your personal calendar and the Leading Edge program dates?  

Program tuition is $400. This cost contributes to the cost of materials, meals, and transportation. Scholarship assistance is available.  Also. as your Guidance Counselor about us. 

Student Testimonials:

"Leading Edge has helped me get out of my shell. I used to be really awkward and I didn't know how to talk to people, but now I can without any problem. I also love helping people but I had no idea how I could, but now I know. Thank you Kasi and thanks to the steering committee for such a wonderful summer full of adventures. It will be one I won't forget!! - 2016 LE Graduate 

I personally think this program helped me open up to people and be able to strengthen my leadership skills. I loved the leaders and the opportunities I was given so I am very thankful to have been in this program.  - LE 2016 Graduate 

"I have developed networking skills as well as positive relationship building tools to help me in college and beyond." - 2015 LE Graduate

"I've learned through Leading Edge that I REALLY do matter. I'm not just a teenager with no control. I have power in my community and because of Leading Edge, I have the tools to succeed!" - 2014 LE Graduate

Our investors make our program possible. Thank you to the following investors: