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About the Program

About the Program

The Baltimore Collegetown LeaderShape® program connects students across campuses and with their communities to make a better Baltimore. Designed for students who have a passion for service and want to be civic-minded leaders, it starts with a week of leadership development and is followed by programming and support throughout an academic year. Students not only develop visions, but learn to be visionary, and discover how to apply their skills and passions to our city.


  • Why LeaderShape?

    Why LeaderShape?

    • Proven national program
    • 60,000+ graduates 
    • Record of success
    • Mission to help students lead with integrity™
    • Emphasis on non-positional leadership
    • Help students develop visions AND learn to be a visionary






    Benefits of a civic leadership program

    • Develop skills of the next generation of Baltimore citizens
    • Teach students how to apply their skills and passions to the Baltimore community
    • Connect service and leadership together in one program
    • Use a collaborative approach to offer more to students and the community


    Goals of the program

    • Utilize the LeaderShape® Institute as the basis for a Baltimore-area leadership program
    • Increase student connectivity between campuses
    • Develop students as civic-minded leaders
    • Focus efforts of multiple campuses on urban issues to strengthen communities
    • Engage students in city and campus life
    • Retain students in the area
    • Share resources between campuses
    • Develop a national model for collaboration and university-community engagement
  • How it Works

    How it Works

    The year-long program is composed of six major components designed to keep students connected and engaged to the visions they create at the LeaderShape Institute.

    Apply today!

    Class Nine Program Components:

    • Institute week, curriculum provided by LeaderShape®: Mon, Aug. 6 – Sat., Aug. 11, 2018
      • 60-70 students divided between participating colleges (5-8 per campus)
      • Overnight retreat at Loyola University Maryland
      • LeaderShape sends co-lead facilitators to lead the program
      • Facilitators and guest leaders from the Baltimore region
    • Fall Retreat: day-long retreat: Sat., Oct. 6, 2018 (at a BCN campus)
      • Review goals and reconnect with cohort
      • Meet with alumni mentors
      • Begin planning for spring project
    • Service Activity (based on student schedule)
      • Coordinate within Family Clusters
      • Partner with community organization
    • Spring Retreat: Sat., Feb. 2, 2019 (at a BCN campus)
      • Meet with community leaders
      • Explore the principles of social justice and community engagement
      • Dig deep into vision projects
    • Spring Project (anytime during the spring 2019 semester)
      • Students plan a project around their area of focus
    • Commencement Ceremony: Fri. April 5, 2019
      • Marks graduation from the Collegetown LeaderShape Program

    Ongoing Support

    • Campus liaison
    • Collegetown staff
    • Website, Facebook Group
    • Community liaisons
  • Who is it For?

    Who is it For?

    Collegetown LeaderShape is a program for students with demonstrated passion for leadership and service and a desire to know Baltimore.  Here are a few ways that Collegetown targets, recruits, and selects students for this program:

    • Focus on sophomores, juniors, and first-year graduate students
    • Passion for service and currently involved in service
    • An interest in being a civic-minded leader on campus and off
    • Students will be selected to represent a diverse mix of race, gender & interests
  • What Students Study

    What Students Study

    Participants in Collegetown LeaderShape study a broad spectrum of majors, minors, and professional programs.  Any combination of academic interests can be applied to the LeaderShape curriculum and programs.  LeaderShape is an opportunity to link academic interests with current, real-world events and issues in Baltimore city.

    Students will be asked to rank areas of focus that are of most interest to them and write an essay related to their passion for service and the Baltimore Community in the application process. These are the identified areas of focus:

    • K-12 Education (Tutoring, mentoring, teacher support, school programs)
    • Arts & Culture (community arts, arts education, design, arts and mental health, cultural preservation)
    • Neighborhood Revitalization (housing, economic dev., community programs)
    • Healthy Families (domestic abuse, children of prisoners, early childhood dev.)
    • Healthcare (HIV, homelessness, drug treatment, education)

    For examples of how students have connected their academic interests to their LeaderShape visions, please read some of our Student Profiles.

  • What it Costs

    What it Costs

    Expenses for the Baltimore Collegetown LeaderShape Program are shared by Collegetown, member institutions, and community partners.  The cost to students is free or limited to a nominal participation fee, which is determined by individual colleges.  Staff support, marketing support, and planning funds are provided by the Baltimore Collegetown Network to member institutions. Please contact us if you have questions about costs and funding.

    All students are asked to submit a $100 refundable deposit upon acceptance to the program that will guarantee their spot in the Collegetown LeaderShape program.  For information about the deposit, click here.

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Meet Our Students

Gena Stenger
Loyola University Maryland
"Baltimore has been my home away from home for the past two years. It wasn’t until I participated in Collegetown LeaderShape that I learned about the serious needs of the city."

Explore All LeaderShape Profiles

Explore Student Visions

Healthy Families
Karina Aquiahuatl Villagran, Class Nine
Vision: A future where refugee and asylee children are exposed to an environment where education is equitable, physical activity is honored, health is prioritized, and community building is emphasized.

Explore All Student Visions