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Leadership Program


  • Leadership Program
    (202) 885-6203
    Ward Circle Building, Room 230

Mailing Address
SPA Leadership Social Action

"The pivotal problems of our generation—those which others reject as insurmountable—are changed by those who try. The SPA Leadership Program teaches you how to try. I learned how to be the change our world so desperately needs."
- Amelia Faraco-Hadlock (’18)

Social Action Projects

To help students learn the leadership skills necessary to affect real social change, first- and second-year students design and implement their own social action projects. Students choose a social problem they care about deeply, research it, talk to those affected by it, learn what others are doing to address the problem, and design and execute their own project to help correct the problem.

Students have created advocacy organizations and campaigns, sponsored awareness events, written and produced plays and books, designed websites and apps, taught school children, created mentorship programs, launched letters-to-the-editor campaigns, conducted original research, and brought speakers to campus from across the country. Their passions are as diverse as they are: Kenyan tribes facing extinction; Nicaraguan girls’ empowerment; eating disorders; sexual assault; the school-to-prison pipeline; safe drinking water; meteors striking the earth; environmental education of urban youth; poverty and homelessness; veterans’ affairs; juvenile justice; LGBTQ rights; child abuse; domestic violence; among many other issues. 

In their first year, Program students work in small groups to design and execute these projects. Second-year students continue to develop their leadership in this area by working individually and collaborating with others outside the Program. As sophomores they also develop fundraising skills by writing grant proposals.

In the process of working on social action projects, students learn important leadership lessons such as how to work effectively in a group, successful project management, the impact of group dynamics, effective meeting management, and the importance of commitment, follow through, time management, networking, reputation, self determination, motivation, servant leadership, creativity, overcoming adversity, and much more.

Students’ work on these social action projects is at the core of the SPA Leadership Program.