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 (ELP), launched in January 2021, is an innovative new youth mentorship program focused on gender and leadership. The program partners current Harvard undergraduates with high school students from the surrounding Cambridge area. Together, they challenge limited conceptions of who can be a leader and who belongs in elite institutions of higher education, and they build critical skills to drive positive change.

Research shows that 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 the Institute's history—and the vast holdings of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America—the ELP curriculum focuses on influential female-identifying leaders, 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

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

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 to meet classmates outside your own program or extracurricular network.

  • Mentor up 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 14 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 2021 and in monthly mentor reflection sessions in spring 2022.
  • Participate in a program kickoff event in late fall 2021, all program sessions from January to May, a capstone program in late spring 2022, and regular informal mentor and mentor-mentee socials throughout the year.
  • Provide written and verbal feedback to program leadership throughout the year.

Mentors, who are paid $15 per hour, are expected to commit to approximately 108 hours between October 2021 and May 2022. 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

Spring semester

  • Six 2-hour mentor reflection sessions
  • Fourteen 2-hour program sessions
  • One 2-hour celebratory capstone event

Throughout the year

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

You are right for the student mentor role if you:

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

Successful student mentors serve as positive role models for their mentees and as support for other student mentors.

We are now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year. Applications are due by 9 AM ET on Wednesday, September 29. 

To apply, please email your resume and a one-page (maximum) cover letter to ventures@radcliffe.harvard.edu.

Interviews will be held between September 16–23. We will convey all hiring decisions on Monday, September 27. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kristen Kravet or Andrea Perry with any questions.