Leading Edge: High School Rising Juniors and Seniors


Leading Edge is our comprehensive community leadership program developed specifically for high school teens. We at LPP believe that civic engagement and leadership are skills that should be developed early in life through self-discovery and hands-on experiences. Leading Edge students gain an understanding of themselves, their communities, and their city through networking interactions with community leaders, exploration of local agencies and organizations, and leadership skill development curriculum. Students will graduate the program as engaged and involved citizens who are working to make a difference in our community.


Leadership of the Self

One of the first steps to leadership development is to understand ourselves – who we are, what we can do, and how we are perceived by others. For leadership to be actualized, we must understand our position in the Pikes Peak community by exploring our individual strengths, personality types, abilities, passions, and potential for personal growth.

Leadership of our Communities

A critical component of leadership development is learning how to apply our abilities to our own personal communities. A personal community is an intimate network of people with whom we align ourselves, and the places, issues, and organizations we rally around in our city.

Leadership of our City

Developing community trustees requires us to know where and how we can make a difference in the greater Pikes Peak community. LPP introduces participants to community leaders and informs them of local challenges. Program graduates will increase their confidence, skills, and abilities to strengthen the city, thus becoming a community trustee.


A typical Leading Edge summer consists of a total of 12 session days, focusing on leadership of the self, community, and city. Each session will have a focus on a key civic engagement topic within our community and will explore these topics on a deep experiential level. The program kicks off with a three-day intensive to begin developing team building and communication skills among the class. The following week consists of another three-day intensive focused on getting to know the Colorado Springs community. Sessions will then continue Wednesdays on a weekly basis through the end of the summer, concluding with a Project Presentation and Graduation Day.

In addition to class sessions, students will work in groups on community service projects throughout the summer. These projects are proposed by local non-profit agencies and are specifically designed to make an impactful and meaningful difference to the project organization and the community. Students will work with their groups on their own time along with an organization liaison and an adult project mentor. Students will present their final projects at the Project Presentation and Graduation Day to community leaders, family, and friends.

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Leading Edge Class of 2018

Leadership Pikes Peak is excited to graduate the Leading Edge Class of 2018 on July 28, 2018 at the El Paso County Centennial Hall, located at 200 S Cascade Ave, 80903. 

If you plan on attending, please register HERE by July 23, 2018. 

Project Presentations will being at 2:00pm followed by a graduation ceremony, awards, and an ice cream celebration. The four projects this year's class have been working on are as follows:

Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society - This group is working on researching two members of Colorado Springs history that are buried in Evergreen Cemetery. The group will use their research to develop historically accurate character kits to include script, costuming suggestion, and pictures in order to assist the Benevolent Society in bringing these characters to life. 

Kids on Bikes  - This project group is designing and building a bicycle library at Queen Palmer Elementary School. The bicycle library will allow students at Queen Palmer to learn about bike safety and to check out bikes, encouraging healthy outdoor physical activities. 

NAMI Colorado Springs - This group is working with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to expand the exposure of their "Below the Surface" Campaign. This campaign promoted the use of the Crisis Text Line, which allows anyone in need to mental health assistance to text with a Master Level councilor at any time of day/night. 

If you are in crisis, please text TALK to 38255. To find out more: need2text.com. 

School in the Woods - This group is working with School in the Woods, a 4th grade magnet school located in Black Forest, to build a nature trail as part of their new campus extension. The trail will be used by the school as an educational tool to highlight botanical features. 



This program is only open to current sophomores and juniors. Once you begin the form you are not able to save and return to the form so please be prepared to complete the application in full before you begin. Each applicant must be nominated by a school administrator, counselor, teacher, coach, mentor and/or civic leader. Nominations are to be completed through our online form (see buttons at top of page). Applications for summer 2019 will open soon and will be due by March 15, 2019. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Due to the demand of this program we will be conducting interviews in early Spring to select our best-fit candidates.

Scholarships are available and past leadership experience is not a requirement. Please apply regardless of your leadership experience or financial situation.  

Incomplete applications can not be saved and returned to later, so 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 defines you as a person? 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? 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 general category)?
  • Do you foresee any potential scheduling conflicts in regards to your personal calendar and the Leading Edge program dates?  

Program tuition is $500. This cost contributes to the cost of materials, meals, and transportation. Scholarship assistance is available.  


"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 and Supporters make our program possible.

Thank you to the following investors and supporters: