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Teen Leadership and Service Academy

Gain leadership experience and earn service hours! 

Whether you are just starting to gain leadership experience or are ready to take your skills to the next level, the Teen Leadership and Service Academy can help you grow your professionalism and earn service hours around your busy summer schedule. Complete a full-day workshop with a business training expert that includes tools and activities for growing key communication, goal-setting, and team work skills. Then put your new skills into practice with K-8th students as you assist Challenger Learning Center and Continuing Education instructors. Upon successful completion of the Academy, reflection questions, and assigned volunteer hours, you’ll receive a personalized reference letter and documentation of your service to area youth. Only 20 student leaders can be accepted into the program, apply now below.

    • Complete the application by May 3
    • Submit application to the Continuing Education Department
    • Obtain a personal reference and have them complete the reference form below
    • Applications that are incomplete and/or late will not be accepted
    • Interview invitations will be sent out by May 6
    • Virtual interviews will be hosted on May 10
    • After acceptance into the program, student leaders will be contacted for official registration and payment by May 14
    • Due to scheduling limitations, only 20 student leaders will be accepted into TLSA 2021 

    Apply Now

    Personal Reference Form

  • TLSA participants must be between the ages of 14 and 18. 

    • Our program is open to anyone entering 9-12th grades for the 2021-2022 school year.
    • Academic performance is not a prerequisite. Sharing GPA info on the application is optional.
    • We plan to interview all candidates who submit an application and provide a non-family reference.
    • Submit application materials within timeframe provided
    • Students begin their leadership journey through participating in virtual group interviews on Monday, May 10, and, as needed, Tuesday, May 11, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. We will email information to interviewees about signing up on Thursday, May 6.
    • If accepted into the program, participants will:
      • Attend a required 1-day leadership workshop on either Wednesday, June 2, or Thursday, June 3, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Your day will include lunch.
      • Complete 18-22 service hours as assigned by program leader. Assignments will be completed in a one-week increment.
      • Demonstrate Student Leader competencies as outlined in TLSA Handbook and covered in orientation
      • Perform all required classroom activities with instructor and cohort activities with program leaders. 
  • Leadership

    • Work with a small group who needs supplemental activities or additional support or time to complete a lesson
    • Lead a part of a lesson or activity at the request or invitation of the instructor (ex. 10 minutes)
    • Help resolve a problem or conflict that a student is experiencing under the direction or guidance of the instructor
    • Plan a last-day activity (10 minutes) to celebrate hard work and friends made


    • Greet students at the start of each day. Kids@Heartland activities run 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. That includes before/after care, as well as class sessions from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.
    • Provide one-on-one support to students who need more time or additional help
    • Ensure instructors’ materials are organized or environment is prepped or cleaned during the day (ex. Copies made or sorted, tables set up, monitors cleaned)
    • Provide feedback on student work under the direction or guidance of the instructor (ex. Peer review to writing, feedback on a project, etc.)
  • If accepted into the program, there is an $89 fee to participate. Cost includes a lunch on orientation day, leadership materials, and HCC credentials.

Call April Fornero at (309) 268-8706 for more information.