Academy for Rising Leaders Pilot Program Created at The University of Texas at Austin

A new academy called Subiendo: The Academy for Rising Leaders, has been created at The University of Texas at Austin to prepare new leaders to address the needs of the next generation, including a growing Hispanic population that has become the largest and youngest minority group in the United States.

The 2010 pilot program, developed by the university's Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Texas Exes, will be held on campus July 18-21. The academy, funded by private philanthropy, is free for participating students, who will stay in Jester Center at the university during the program.

"It is imperative that these emerging leaders receive the necessary education and training to realize their potential," said Veronica Vargas Stidvent, director of the Center for Politics and Governance in the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Stidvent said 100 students would be selected to participate this summer.

Subiendo will bring to the university outstanding students who have completed their junior year of high school. They will participate over a four-day (three-night) period in leadership training and community-building exercises in a program that will feature nationally prominent speakers, simulation exercises and classroom training.  The students will analyze policy issues and present solutions in a plenary session. They also will visit the state capitol, meet with business leaders and participate in recreational networking and team-building exercises.

For the summer 2010 academy, application is open to Central Texas high school students, regardless of race or ethnicity, who have completed their junior year by July 1. Students must complete an application and essay on challenges facing the state of Texas and submit the application online. High schools in Central Texas have been contacted to invite their students to apply. The goal is to expand the program in future years to include students statewide.