The Basics

What is the Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA)?
HOBY’s college-prep program, the Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA), empowers high school juniors and seniors to become change leaders in their communities. The ALA helps address the question “What can I do to change the world?” and allows students to answer the call with their very own action plan for a service project or social enterprise to create social change. The ALA also allows them to earn one college unit/credit before entering university.

What do students do at the ALA?
The 5-day program will immerse students in college-level curriculum based on the social change model of leadership. Student participants (called Project Managers) learn to leverage their personal leadership talents, hone their project management skills, and address social issues while earning transferable college credit from George Mason University. They leave the Academy with a fully-developed action plan to implement in their home communities.

Who can join the ALA?
Students who have completed their high school junior or senior year and international students (ages 16-18 at the time of the program) can join.

Where and When is the ALA?
Loyola University Chicago from July 6 to 11, 2017.

What is the registration fee?
The registration fee of $1,250 includes all meals and accommodations, book and training materials, shirt, and one transferrable college unit. Payments may be made in installments, and the full balance is not due until 6/15/2017. Travel to/from the ALA is not included in the registration fee.

Additionally, students wishing to fundraise should consult the HOBY Fundraising Guide Clicking Here.

How do students register for the ALA?
A reservation and $100 non-refundable deposit can be made online (link coming soon). Then students receive an email with the additional information needed to complete the registration process. This $100 deposit is applied towards the registration fee.

Program Overview

The Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA) empowers participants (called Project Managers) to leverage their personal leadership talents to address the social issue they select and want to impact. Project Managers are assigned to small groups lead by a Project Coach, an adult mentor who has professional and volunteer experience leading projects and engaging students. Project Coaches facilitate collaboration and student-based learning as Project Managers cultivate their leadership, entrepreneurial, and project management skills together. For a copy of the 2016 ALA Program Book Click Here.

College-Level Curriculum

To truly effect change, it is critical for Project Managers to understand the meaning and complex nature of social change.  Focusing on the social change model of leadership, the ALA curricula is based on the college text, Leadership for a Better World: Understanding the Social Change Model of Leadership Development (LBW), a book written for students who seek to understand and demonstrate leadership to address social issues.  All Project Managers and ALA volunteers read and reference LBW throughout the Academy.  Click here for a full description of the curriculum.

Action Plan for Change

Project Managers (PMs) combine the social change model of leadership with their leadership strengths, and entrepreneurial and project management skills to develop their individual project action plan.ALA Sponsor Thank You

After selecting the social cause they want to impact, PMs outline and document all the steps necessary to effect the change they want to see and implement in their home communities. Project Managers produce powerful social change by successfully implementing the action plans they develop at ALA.

Project Coaches

Project Coaches are integral to achieving these goals for Project Managers:

  1. Internalizing the social change model of leadership,
  2. Completing a fully-developed action plan for change, and
  3. Successfully implementing the action plan within one year of returning to their communities.

At the ALA, Project Managers develop a network of support to stay with them post-ALA and encourage them to succeed.

Post ALA Support

What makes the ALA unique is that Project Managers return home from the Academy with the continued support of their Project Coach and fellow Project Managers. PMs require assistance, as well as encouragement, to successfully implement their action plan, so HOBY provides online social networks, group calls facilitated by Project Coaches, and one-on-one individual support to keep Project Managers engaged and on-track to meet their one-year goal.

The project coaches will also conduct monthly check-ins with each member of their ALA group.  As the adult most familiar with their project action plan, they can provide suggestions, advice and encouragement to complete their plan.

Evaluation and College Credit

HOBY is proud to partner with nationally-ranked George Mason University (GMU) to offer college credit for the Advanced Leadership Academy.  Project Managers are evaluated on their active participation, contributions to group discussions, and demonstration of leadership and critical thinking through their written action plan to earn pass/fail credit as part of GMU’s Special Topics in Leadership course.


Project Coaches provide feedback throughout the Academy to ensure Project Managers reach certain academic and programmatic milestones.

At the conclusion of the ALA, the Project Managers’ final action plans are evaluated, and one transferrable college credit (unit) from George Mason University is awarded for successfully completing all ALA program requirements. Up to two additional credits may be earned by successfully implementing the action plan (project) in one year’s time, adhering to project timelines and deadlines, and submitting a Project Completion Report. Tuition fees and other requirements apply.

Reserve Your Spot

Click Here to reserve a spot and make a $100 non-refundable non-refundable deposit. Then students receive an email with the additional information needed to complete the registration process. The $100 non-refundable deposit is applied towards the registration fee.