The Future Leaders Academy

2024-25 Mentors Apply Now

Download 2024-2025 Future Leaders Academy flyer.

Applications for the 2025-26 Future Leaders Academy open in July 2024!

The Future Leaders Academy inspires high school and college students to identify personal values and achieve their goals, and to develop the skills to become moral, purposeful, and emotionally intelligent leaders.

Have you ever wondered how to set and achieve your goals?  The Future Leaders Academy can help.

The Future Leaders Academy works with high school (juniors and seniors) and college (first- and second-year) students in Minnesota to hone their leadership skills and reach their goals to become exceptional, emotionally intelligent leaders in any context.

Emerging leaders from low-income or underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.

 

The Future Leaders Academy Difference

The purpose of the Future Leaders Academy is to create space for Future Leaders and Mentors to put emotional intelligence skills into practice, to reflect on that practice, and to achieve goals aligned with their values today and in the future.

The Future Leaders Academy is:

  • Goal-oriented
  • Grounded in asset-based thinking
  • Values-centered
  • Supports you, your ideas and who you are
  • A space to take chances, learn and grow

The Future Leaders Academy is intentionally designed to hone critical skills — emotional intelligence skills and moral intelligence skills — that form the basis of effective leadership, goal achievement, and life-long success.


Why is the Future Leaders Academy’s focus on moral, purposeful and emotionally intelligent leadership important now?

First, we believe everyone is a leader. Every day. We believe today’s youth will play an important role in realizing a better future for all of us, starting today.

Second, we see a growing gap in the everyday practice of leadership and the moral leadership we need to meet not only our individual needs and goals, but the broader goals of a just, humane and more equitable world.

Third, we believe that those broader goals are achievable if we each develop the inter-related, mutually constitutive skills of self-awareness, decision-making, self-management, and, finally, leadership.

In other words, a better world begins with us, each of us, and how we live each day.

We call this The Leadership Logic Chain:

See Don’t Wait for Someone Else to Fix It (p. 23), by Doug Lennick, Chuck Wachendorfer, with Cathy Jordan, PhD (Wiley, 2023), for a rich discussion of the Leadership Logic Chain and so much more.


How do we do it?

The 5-month, 5-module Leadership Workshop introduces key emotional intelligence concepts and asks Future Leaders to put those concepts into practice during our interactive sessions.

The 12-month Mentorship pairs one Future Leader and Mentor in a co-learning process focused on achieving Future Leader goals.

Examples of actual mentorship goals include:

  • Building skills and best practices to be a better student leader and future politician
  • Meeting study goals to do well on college entrance exams and succeed in college
  • Expanding my network and business plan development skills to start my own business
  • Developing skills and success-oriented mindset to fulfill dream of becoming a professional pilot

The Future Leaders Academy provides the supportive space to reflect on the critical role of emotional intelligence skills in the goal-achievement process, as well as in the success of the Future Leader-Mentor relationship.

In the process, we ensure Future Leaders, Mentors, and our Future Leaders Academy community will continue to grow now and in the future.

Download our 2024-2025 Future Leaders Academy flyer.

Are You A Future Leader?

If you are ready to grow your leadership skills, applications for our 2025-2026 Future Leaders Academy open in July 2024.

Apply here

Each cohort is limited to 20 students from Minnesota who are ready to become an Future Leaders Academy member starting each January.

The Future Leaders Academy is intended for high school juniors and seniors or first- and second-year college students from low-income backgrounds or underrepresented communities in Minnesota.

The 18-month Future Leaders Academy comprises two inter-related components:

  • January – May: Five-month virtual Leadership Workshop that meets for 90-minutes on one Saturday each month;
  • June – June (the following year): 12-month Mentorship

Expected Outcomes For Future Leaders:

  • Networks: Each Future Leader will build a network of Future Leader peers and mentors who will serve as a support system for work, life, and school today and into the future.
  • New Skills: Future Leaders Academy is intentionally designed to meet Future Leaders where they are and to help Future Leaders build core moral and emotional intelligence, and resilience, which will serve as a platform for future success — as Future Leaders develop their goals, engage in their studies, meet challenges of community leadership, and plan for their careers and life.
  • Portfolio Building — Certificate of Completion: Every student who completes the program will receive a certificate of completion acknowledging they are a think2perform RESEARCH INSTITUTE Future Leader, a credential Future Leaders can highlight on job and school applications.

Leadership Workshop: 5-months, 5-modules

think2perform RESEARCH INSTITUTE’s five-module, virtual leadership workshop designed to help students become the next generation of intentional, emotionally intelligent leaders in their schools, homes, communities, and workplaces.

The Leadership Workshop operates on a cohort model of Future Leader peers who learn alongside experienced leaders (mentors) in a range of fields and professions.

Mentors and Future Leaders learn about topics such as:

  • Defining Leadership
  • Centering Your Values in Your Leadership Practice
  • Learning and Leveraging Emotional Intelligence
  • Is Your Calling Calling?
  • Moral Leadership
  • Five Levels of Leadership

Each module of the Future Leaders Academy facilitated by a recognized content expert in emotionally intelligent leadership and coaching.

At the conclusion of the five Leadership Workshop sessions, each Future Leader is paired with an experienced leader in a yearlong mentoring relationship. Future Leaders and Mentors then come together for an in-person celebration and mentorship kick-off event in the Twin Cities.


Mentorship – 12 months

The Mentorship is centered on putting emotional intelligence skills to work in support of achieving each Future Leader’s goals during the 12-month mentoring period, and in life beyond the Future Leaders Academy.

 Mentorship Spotlight – Meet Kayla and Laurie

“(The mentorship) makes me feel empowered,” says Kayla. She likens each completed task to playing Mario Kart. “I feel like I’ve hit a booster and I hit another one and it’s a wonderful feeling getting closer to that finish line.”

Learn more about Kayla & Laurie’s mentorship on Our Blog.


Building toward a Future of Lifelong Leadership

Every student who completes the 18-month program will receive a certificate acknowledging they are a think2perform RESEARCH INSTITUTE Future Leader, a credential that can be highlighted on job and school applications.


How to apply: Our application process includes:

  • Online application
  • Interview
  • Calls with references

2025-26 Future Leaders Apply Here by December 1, 2024!


See FAQs for additional information about the Future Leaders Academy.

Mentors for Future Leaders

Mentorship Mission Statement

Assist Future Leaders and Mentors in honing lifelong emotional and moral competencies for the benefit of self, family, school, community and workplace.

Are You An Experienced Leader Who’s Ready to Give Back?

The Future Leaders Academy brings Mentors and Future Leaders (high school juniors and seniors or first- and second-year college students) together for 12+-months:

  • March-April-May 2025: Mentor Onboarding & Orientation, including required background check, mentor training, and community building.
  • May 2025: Meet your Future Leaders mentee.
  • Saturday, May 17, 2025: Join (virtual) Leadership Workshop session with Future Leaders.
  • May 18-June 4, 2025: Collaborate with Future Leader (Mentee) in development of the Mentorship Agreement, including 3 mentorship goals including a personal goal, a professional/career goal, and a self-development.
  • Saturday, June 7, 2025 : In-person Mentorship Kick-off Event in downtown Minneapolis
  • June 2025-June 2026: Mentorship Period
    • Meet with Future Leader (Mentee) minimum of one-time per month. Typically, meetings are held virtually and last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. We expect Future Leaders to take the lead on communication with Mentors.
  • Saturday, June 6, 2026: Graduation Celebration, an in-person event in downtown Minneapolis

Expected Outcomes for Mentors:

  • Future Impact: Make a concrete contribution to future leadership development by sharing your skills, experience, and insights with a young leader of our community.
  • Develop New Insights: The best way to reflect on your own life, leadership development, and career is to share it with others. The Future Leader Mentorship provides the opportunity to support a Future Leader and hone your own skills – interpersonal, communication and leadership competencies – as a full member of the moral and emotional leadership academy for Future Leaders.

A mentor values and practices qualities such as openness, flexibility, curiosity, integrity and responsibility, and typically has 10 years of experience (any field).

Mentor Quote: “(My mentee) has really great energy, is always prepared and is open to learning. It is a joy to share experiences and suggestions with someone so eager to learn.”

Mentors: Apply now!


We are seeking mentors who wish to share experiences and insights with Future Leaders and learn from and with Future Leaders in the process.

Mentors of Future Leaders are essential not just to our program’s success but to our community’s long-term success. Women, minorities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, first generation college graduates, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Complete mentor application and join our growing mentor network for Minnesota’s Future Leaders.

Learn more from a recent mentor here

Mentors Apply Here


See Future Leaders Academy and Mentorship FAQs.

Future Leaders Academy: Fundamentals

The 18-month Future Leaders Academy enrolls each January:

  • Leadership Workshop: January-May (5 months)
  • Mentorship: June-June the following year (12+ months)

Leadership Workshop – 5-months, 5-modules

Format: Each Leadership Workshop module consists of a 90-minute virtual session facilitated by two Future Leaders Academy content experts experienced in leading inclusive, interactive sessions.

Each Future Leaders Academy follows a similar calendar. Here’s our 2025-2026 calendar:

  • Saturday, January 18, 2025, 10-11:30am: 1st Virtual Leadership Workshop Session
  • Saturday, February 15, 2025, 10-11:30am: 2nd Virtual Session
  • Saturday, March 15, 2025, 10-11:30am: 3rd Virtual Session
  • Saturday, April 19, 2025, 10-11:30am: 4th Virtual Session
  • Saturday, May 17, 2025, 10-11:30am: 5th Virtual Session
  • April/May 2025: Future Leader & Mentor Pairing for Mentorship
  • June 7, 2025: Leadership Workshop Celebration & Mentorship Kick-off Event
  • June 2025 – June 2026: Mentorship Period
  • June 6, 2025: Future Leaders Academy concludes with Celebration Event

Each session presents new concepts and focuses on skill development with immediate, real life application. Discussion, reflection, team building and mutual support are integral to everything we do.


Meet Our Leadership Workshop Facilitators

Ryan Goulart

I’m looking forward to getting to know each of you. My goal is to provide you with safe space to learn, and occasionally fail, which is where real growth occurs, to succeed. When I’m not supporting the Future Leaders Academy, I’m a business leader, podcast host and mentor/coach at think2perform.

Leadership is a journey and I’m grateful to be a part of your journey wherever life takes you.

LaCresia King, LGSW, MSW

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LaCresia builds relationships with individuals and provides spaces for others to feel safe, valued, and accepted. Using education as a way to combat generational poverty and trauma in BIPOC communities, LaCresia believes in laying the foundation for others to set and achieve goals no matter their lived experiences.

LaCresia is the Director of the Avivo Institute, a private Technical Educational Institute, which provides free career opportunities to individuals with barriers to accessible education and employment. She received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2017 and has worked in both clinical and leadership roles since obtainment.

LaCresia notes: “I am so excited to support think2perform Research Institute’s Future Leaders Academy, and even more importantly I’m excited to meet and get to know each and every one of you.

My hope is that after you complete this experience you feel empowered to be unapologetically yourselves and step in your power as leaders in all areas of your life.”


Mentorship – 12-months

Assist Future Leaders and Mentors in honing lifelong emotional and moral competencies for the benefit of self, family, school, community and workplace leadership.

Our Mentorship Model

A dynamic three-cycle mentorship model guides the Future Leaders Academy Mentorship, a process of co-learning between Mentor and Future Leader (See B. Smith, 2013)*.

 


Cost: This program is provided at no cost to Future Leaders, their families or educational institutions. The program includes (in chronological order):

  • 5 leadership development sessions (90-minute virtual modules)
  • Full-day Leadership Workshop celebration and Mentorship kick-off
  • 12-month Mentorship
  • Future Leaders Academy celebration
  • $500 stipend that is distributed over the course of the 18-month program

Contact: Brian Hammer, PhD – t2pRI Executive Director, at bhammer@t2pri.org

* The Three Cycle Mentoring Model is adapted from think2perform Research Institute board member Buffy Smith’s book: Smith, Buffy. 2013. Mentoring At-Risk Students through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education. Plymouth, U.K.: Lexington Books, p. 62

Future Leaders Academy: FAQs

What is the purpose of the Future Leaders Academy?

The Future Leaders Academy prepares high-achieving young people to become exceptional leaders in their homes, communities, schools and workplaces.

Who are the participants? How many are there?

The program pairs high school juniors and seniors, as well as first- and second-year college students with more experienced leaders who serve as Future Leader Mentors. Future Leaders from under-represented and low-income communities are encouraged to apply.

Future Leader cohort: up to 20 Future Leaders starting each January.

How can I apply to be a future leader?

Please complete the Future Leader Application Form.

What is the cost of the Future LEaders Academy to participants?

There is no cost (i.e., no tuition, no fees) to Future Leader participants. In fact, Future Leaders are provided a stipend of $500 USD (distributed in installments via gift cards) over the course of the Future Leaders Academy to help make participation as open and as barrier-free as possible to all interested Future Leaders.

What is the content of the Future Leaders Academy?

Future Leaders Academy includes two core components:

  1. 5-month Leadership Workshop takes place the 3rd Saturday of each month, from January to May.
    • Future Leaders complete five 90-minute, interactive, virtual leadership development sessions led by experienced facilitators.
    • The Leadership Workshop includes topics such as: (1) Defining Leadership; (2) Learning and Leveraging Emotional Intelligence; (3) What Is Your Calling?; (4) Moral Leadership; (5) Five Levels of Leadership
    • Mentorship matching of a Future Leader and Mentor occurs in May.
    • Mentors and Future Leaders all join the final online Leadership Workshop session on the 3rd Saturday morning in May.
  1. One-year Mentorship – June to June the following year (12+ months)
    • After the virtual training is complete, future and experienced leaders will come together for a half-day, in-person celebration on a Saturday in early June:
    • Sample in-person event calendar for 2024-25 Future Leaders Academy:
      • Mentorship Kick-off: Saturday, June 1, 2024, from 10:30am to 1:30pm;
      • Graduation Celebration: Saturday, June 12, 2025.
      • In-person events are held in downtown Minneapolis.
What are the expected outcomes of the Future Leaders Academy?

For Future Leaders:

  • Networks: Each Future Leader will build a network of Future Leader peers and mentors who will serve as a support system for work, life, and school today and into the future.
  • New Skills: Future Leaders Academy is intentionally designed to meet Future Leaders where they are and to help Future Leaders build core moral and emotional intelligence, and resilience, which will serve as a platform for future success — as Future Leaders develop their goals, engage in their studies, meet challenges of community leadership, and plan for their careers and life.
  • Portfolio Building — Certificate of Completion: Every student who completes the program will receive a certificate of completion acknowledging they are a think2perform RESEARCH INSTITUTE Future Leader, a credential Future Leaders can highlight on job and school applications.

For Mentors:

  • Future Impact: Make a concrete contribution to future leadership development by sharing your skills, experience, and insights with a young leader of our community.
  • Develop New Insights: The best way to reflect on your own life, leadership development, and career is to share it with others. The Future Leader Mentorship provides the opportunity to support a Future Leader and hone your own skills – interpersonal, communication and leadership competencies – as a full member of the moral and emotional leadership academy for Future Leaders.
What do mentors do?

Mentor Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Consider, reflect, and share emotionally intelligent leadership skills and competencies across professional, community and personal life experiences
  • Develop and engage an “Mentorship Agreement,” a co-learning contract developed by the Mentor and Future Leader prior to the Mentorship Kick-off event in June.
  • Reflect on and share feedback on mentorship learning process for benefit of current and ongoing development of Future Leaders’ and Future Mentors’ experiences and outcomes
  • Serve as a Future Leaders Academy Ambassador and advocate

Phase I: March-May:

  • Participate in Future Leaders Academy and mentorship orientation, including required background screening, onboarding sessions and community building with other mentors
  • Read/review mentorship resources
  • Meet the Future Leader you’ll be working with for the coming year
  • Co-develop with Future Leader mentee your “Mentorship Agreement,” which helps to set stage for dialog and mutual understanding of needs, goals, and expectations for the mentorship. We start with personal values and focuses on SMART Goals.

Phase II: June –June the following year (12+ months)

  • Serve as mentor of one Future Leader for one year
  • Join Leadership Workshop Celebration and Mentorship Kick-off event in early June.
  • Meet virtually with Future Leader mentee at least one time each month through June the following year
  • Share feedback and comments on mentorship reflection activities
  • Serve as advocate, resource, sounding board, and connector for Future Leader — stretch yourself, think deeply, listen actively
  • Participate in Future Leaders Academy graduation celebration in early June the following year.
What is the goal of the mentorship for Future Leaders?

Future Leader Roles & Responsibilities during the mentorship:

  • Consider, reflect, and share leadership skills and competencies across school, community and personal life experiences
  • Reflect on and share feedback on mentorship learning process for benefit of current and ongoing development of Future Leaders’ and Mentors’ experiences and outcomes
  • Serve as a Future Leaders Academy Ambassador and advocate

Phase I: January-June 2023:

  • Engage actively with Future Leaders Academy community and hone your emotional and moral competencies as a Future Leader and lifelong learner
  • Participate in Future Leaders Academy and mentorship orientation
  • Read/review mentorship resources and complete related reflection activities
  • Engage in all Future Leaders Academy sessions and debriefs as co-participant, co-learner, co-facilitator and leader
  • Co-develop with Future Leader mentor an “Agreement of Mentoring Partnership” which helps to set stage for dialog and mutual understanding of needs, goals, and expectations for the mentorship

Phase II: June–June the following year (12+ months):

  • Serve as Future Leader mentee for one year
  • Join full-day celebration and mentorship kick-off in June 2023
  • Meet virtually with mentor at least one time each month from June 2023 to June 2024
  • Share feedback and comments via Future Leader Reflection activities
  • Be an active learner — stretch yourself, think deeply, listen actively, and take chances in a supportive environment
  • Participate in the culminating event of the 18-month program — Future Leaders Academy Celebration in early June the following year.
How can I apply to be a mentor?

Please complete the 2024-2025 Mentor Application Form

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think2perform RESEARCH INSTITUTE is a Minnesota nonprofit corporation; tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

Learn More about t2pRI and Our Programs

Executive Director: Brian Hammer, PhD

Phone: +1 612-843-5017
Email: bhammer@t2pri.org

think2perform Research Institute                                                                                                               706 Second Avenue South, Suite 271, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402 USA