Our future depends on young people being civically engaged. The Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) creates leaders by equiping college students with the knowledge and skills to be effective advocates for our generation.  

WHAT IS IT?

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SLI is a five-day advanced training academy that connects students with experts in policy, advocacy, leadership, strategic communications, organizing, and governance. Attendees will put this education into practice by participating in a project-based learning process throughout the week.   

Students will take what they learn and use that knowledge to craft an advocacy project that will help them tackle real issues facing young people today. The results of this project typically influence the advocacy direction of Virginia21 in the subsequent academic year!

WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM IT?

SLI teaches leadership through a host of interactions with people who are experts at what they do. You'll gain hands-on communications skills from media specialists, learn the tips and tricks of how lobbyists influence legislation, and engage with public officials to gain inside knowledge on what it's like to govern. All sessions are interactive and include practical training simulations to enable participants to transform new knowledge into useful skills. 

Some highlights include:

Understanding Virginia state government and how you can influence it

Understanding Virginia state government and how you can influence it

The art of organizing to effect change in your community

The art of organizing to effect change in your community

Navigating the political process through the lens of an advocate

Navigating the political process through the lens of an advocate

Developing a compelling message through strategic communications

Developing a compelling message through strategic communications

Sessions are taught by experts in their respective fields and combined with other workshops and panel discussions to create a summit of engagement. We bring talented Virginians to you to prepare you to be the leader Virginia needs you to be.

WHY SHOULD I APPLY?

 
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SLI will instill leadership skills and practical knowledge that will benefit you beyond your academic career.

Here's what former graduates have to say:

“I went into SLI not really knowing what to expect. I began my affiliation with Virginia21 with the belief that college students can actually make a difference in the Commonwealth, and at SLI we learned about the steps to actually accomplishing that.” – Will Morgan-Palmer, 2013 Graduate

 

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“Through SLI, I learned how to lobby, how to organize, and how to channel my passion into an effective, compelling message. This program show me how to use my leadership for the greater good and fight for those who haven't had the same

Please send questions to our Director of Engagement, Tim Cywinski, at tim@virginia21.org.