2016 Young Leaders Academy

June 12-15, 2016 – High school students to explore 'Roots of Modern Political Parties' in this four-day, summer leadership conference.

Kentucky students, grades 9-12, are eligible to apply for the Young Leaders Academy, a summer residential leadership conference at the University of Louisville. The McConnell Center offers this annual program to outstanding high school students to help hone their leadership skills and further their understanding of American history.

Applications due Friday, April 15, 2016 (download)

The theme of this year's conference is "Roots of Modern Political Parties." Conference topics include:

  • What are the origins of our political party system?
  • Why did George Washington and other Founders warn us against parties?
  • What does it mean to be conservative? progressive? libertarian?
  • What does the Electoral College have to do with our party system?
  • How did the Civil Rights Movement change American politics?
  • What is the future role of parties in an age of celebrity candidates?

Participants will stay at the University of Louisville under the guidance of McConnell Center staff and university honors students. Participants will take part in a series of seminars, discussions, lectures, team-building activities and structured socials during their four-day stay.

Sessions will be led by faculty, staff and students of the University of Louisville and other area institutions and will be conducted at or near an entry level college experience.

Each participant will receive a scholarship for the Young Leaders Academy that includes free lodging, meals and all conference materials.

“This will be a tremendous educational experience, but it is also a terrific opportunity for those who might be interested in being considered for McConnell Scholarships to the University of Louisville,” said Gary Gregg, director of the McConnell Center.

Interested in what YLA was like last year? Photos and conference topic

For more information, contact Benjamin Gies, graduate assistant for the McConnell Center’s Civic Education Program, at 502-852-3947 or mccivics@louisville.edu.