Opportunities for Students

Join the Emerging Leaders Program

Black & white image of Angela Davis at campaign event, in front of booth.
The Emerging Leaders Program draws on Radcliffe’s history and the vast holdings of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. The curriculum focuses on influential female-identifying leaders, like Angela Davis, pictured here, social movements (both past and present), and the practical skills necessary for community and civic engagement. Photo courtesy of Schlesinger Library

The Emerging Leaders Program aims to spark dialogue that leads to real-world impact, empowering those who might not traditionally view themselves as leaders.

The Emerging Leaders Program aims to spark dialogue that leads to real-world impact, empowering those who might not traditionally view themselves as leaders. 

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is a youth leadership development program partnering local high school sophomores with current Harvard undergraduates in a mentoring relationship. Together, mentees and mentors challenge limited conceptions of who can be a leader as they build critical skills to drive positive change.

Developing leadership skills among young people contributes in important ways to a healthy democratic society, and Emerging Leaders approaches this challenge in a uniquely Radcliffe way. Drawing on Radcliffe’s history—and the vast holdings of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America—the ELP curriculum focuses on the intersection of gender and leadership, social movements (both past and present), and the practical skills necessary for community and civic engagement.  

Harvard College students are eligible to participate as mentors. Through online and in-person sessions mentors support and encourage high school participants’ success in the program. College mentors also have an opportunity to develop their own leadership and mentoring skills and to advance their knowledge of youth leadership, social movements, and civic engagement. 

How to Apply

Application deadline: Sunday, September 25, 2022 (11:59 PM EDT)

Applications will be reviewed, and mentors will be selected on a rolling basis. 

Click here to apply online via the Radcliffe programs application portal. 

The following list highlights some of the qualities we look for in a ELP mentor candidate:

  • current undergraduate Harvard College student; 
  • prior experience in youth mentorship or programming; 
  • commitment to social justice and equal opportunity and an interest in the intersection of gender and leadership; 
  • strong peer leadership skills; and
  • good interpersonal, organizational, and communication (written and verbal) skills. 

Successful student mentors will serve as positive role models for their mentees and as peer support for other student mentors. We look forward to reading your application!

Program Details


If you are interested in connecting with, inspiring, and mentoring high school students on topics of gender and leadership, social activism, and civic engagement, this program is perfect for you. Mentors enhance their own perspectives on leadership and learn hands-on knowledge and skills while guiding their mentees through the program. Mentors also engage in training and reflection sessions together, providing opportunities for students to meet classmates outside their own programs or extracurricular network. 

  • Mentor two to three local high school students. Provide one-on-one and small group mentorship during program time, both in-person and online, throughout the spring semester (approximately 11 program sessions plus a capstone celebration) in support of the ELP curriculum. Mentors are also expected to be in contact with their mentees on a weekly basis outside of program sessions through approved platforms.
  • Participate in a multi-week mentor training series in fall 2022 and in monthly mentor reflection sessions in spring 2023.
  • Participate in a program kickoff event in late fall 2022, all program sessions from January to May, a capstone program in late spring 2023, and regular informal mentor and mentor-mentee socials throughout the year.
  • Provide written and verbal feedback to program leadership throughout the year.


Mentors are expected to commit to approximately 60–80* hours, between September 2022 and May 2023, with the majority of hours occurring during the Spring 2023 semester. First-time mentors will receive $18/hour; returning mentors will receive $19/hour. 

 *approximately 60 hours baseline from January–May; up to an additional 20 hours may be logged via participation on a mentor committee.  

The time commitment would be allocated as follows, subject to future revisions: 

Fall semester

  • Five 2-hour training sessions
  • One 2-hour program kickoff event (December 2022)

Spring semester

  • Four 2-hour mentor reflection sessions
  • Eleven 2-hour program sessions
  • One 2-hour celebratory capstone event

Throughout the year

  • Up to three 1-hour mentor-only and/or mentor-mentee social events and/or extra programmatic events
  • Up to one hour per week of prep work and time spent checking in with mentees outside of program sessions


If you’d like to learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program, please reach out with any questions to emergingleaders@radcliffe.harvard.edu.