Summer Leadership Institute 2024

Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means...

It's almost time for our annual Summer Leadership Institute! Join us July 10 - 14, 2024 to grow your professional network, foster your leadership skills, and engage your community in issues important to you! This five-day residential leadership summit hosts college students from all over Virginia to promote civic engagement, coalition building, effective communication, and strong leadership. Want to kickstart your professional development while making lifelong friends? Apply today!

The deadline to apply is midnight on May 20th.

Acceptance to SLI also means you are joining VA21 as a Student Leader! Learn more here.


What is Virginia21's Summer Leadership Institute?

SLI is a five-day, all-inclusive leadership retreat offered to currently enrolled Virginia college students, aged 18-25.

What will I get out of it?

From day one, SLI is packed with professional opportunities! You'll receive individualized training in networking, relationship building, advocacy work, leadership development, and so much more! Our unique program facilitates connections between students from all over Virginia.

How much does it cost?

$350 for students at partner schools, and $750 for students at non-partner schools.

Email if you are unsure about your school's partner status.

Is financial aid available?

Yes! Last year, we were able to meet 100% of requested aid. After acceptance, students will need to complete a brief application to be considered.

What's included in tuition?

Tuition covers everything including room, meals, and program materials.

Who can apply?

Any undergrad or graduate student currently enrolled in a Virginia college. Students who have already attended SLI are invited to apply again!

I've been accepted to SLI, what should I bring with me?

All course materials and meals are provided. Linens will be provided. Attire during the day is “smart casual” or one step under business casual. Plainly, it’s too hot in July to ask folks to wear business casual. We want you to be comfortable but appropriate for our special guests. Jeans and a t-shirt are just fine. There are two special dinners for which we ask students to bring one business formal outfit and one business casual outfit. Please bring your laptop and a preferred notetaking method.

How will transportation work?

Virginia21 does not provide transportation to SLI but is able to help connect students through carpools. Staff can also pick students up from local bus stations/airports if needed. Please let staff know as soon as possible if you need help coordinating travel or a pick-up. Students who drive themselves will be able to park on campus.

What types of speakers will be presenting? Lobbyists, elected officials, etc.?

Speakers and guests will come from a variety of backgrounds, most of which engage directly with state or local government. We want you to hear from every side of the operation!

I’m not sure that I definitely want to go into politics. What will I get out of SLI?

SLI is a lot of things: a leadership institute, a catalyst for civic engagement, and a political summer camp, but it is not a candidate training course. Whether you want to be a lobbyist, an engineer, or the president, you will still learn a ton from SLI. We teach you how to be a leader in your community and we understand that can mean countless things. At its core, being a community leader requires being educated, civically engaged, and passionate.