25 KY high school students complete McConnell Center's Young Leaders Academy

(July 29, 2013) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Students previewed college life last week as part of the annual summer leadership academy.
25 KY high school students complete McConnell Center's Young Leaders Academy

Twenty-five of Kentucky's top high school students participated in the McConnell Center’s annual Young Leader’s Academy (YLA), a competitive week-long summer residential program that helps students develop their leadership skills while furthering their understanding of American history.

“The opportunity to collaborate with professors encourages them to examine their learning and commit themselves to even deeper study of those texts and ideas foundational to human experience,” said Trisha Vaughn, YLA director. “We are delighted to work with such outstanding students."

Throughout the four-day leadership academy, McConnell Center faculty and staff, as well as UofL honors students, led YLA participants in discussions and activities concerning this year’s theme, “Roots of the U.S.” Participants explored the influence of five cities – Athens, Rome, Jerusalem, London, and Philadelphia – on America’s political and cultural traditions.

Program highlights included college-level lectures, book discussions, organized political and philosophical debates and a visit to the University’s McConnell-Chao Archives.

"I found that this experience was very rewarding in that I learned so much about American history in so little time,” said Peter Thai, a YLA participant and senior at Louisville’s DuPont Manual High School.

YLA participants also learned about the roots of Kentucky folk music from members of a traditional and bluegrass music group. Students visited tourist attractions around Louisville, including the Frazier History Museum.

All YLA participants received a scholarship that included lodging in UofL’s Community Park, meals and all conference materials.


By Mary Elizabeth Young, McConnell Scholar ‘16