Forty central Ohio juniors looking for education and networking opportunities this summer will have the opportunity to participate in the 2014 Central Ohio Leadership Academy, according to program director Jordan Davis.
The leadership academy will be held June 16-21 at the Ohio State University.
Applications to the academy will be accepted through April 18 at coleadershipacademy.org.
The academy accepts students finishing their junior years in public, private and charter schools in Franklin and Delaware counties, Davis said
Davis said students study a college curriculum developed by professors at Ohio State's Fisher College of Business through a partnership with the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program.
She said the academy also can help them in future pursuits or careers.
"The network the students build from (the leadership academy) will help take them to the next step and enrich their experiences," Davis said.
Last year, a student whose mother was battling cancer wanted to be more involved in fundraising for cancer research. Davis said a Central Ohio Leadership Academy board member connected the student with Pelotonia, an annual fundraiser for cancer research, and another board member helped the student organize a cancer-research fundraiser.
"(The leadership academy) prepares them to really capitalize on their senior year and sets them up for greater success," she said.
The academy includes training sessions, team challenges and speakers from the community.
Davis said she could not announce this year's speakers but said the list includes community leaders who have participated in past years.
Ron Davies, a New Albany High School senior, said he participated last year to improve his skills in leadership and public speaking
"Before the program, I was not a very strong speaker, presenter, team leader, etc., so I saw (the leadership academy) as an opportunity for me to improve myself in these areas," Davies, 17, said via email. "It only took a week for me to rapidly learn how to be more proactive as a leader, and I made some great friends from other schools along the way."
The leadership academy will accept 40 applicants, Davis said, and the goal is to have a mix of students from urban, suburban and rural school districts and from public, private and charter schools.
The Central Ohio Leadership Academy was founded in 2011 by the New Albany Community Foundation, which still funds the students' $1,700 tuition fees, with help from Jeff and Christine Rodek and the Easton Community Foundation.
This year, the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio will be the program administrator for the academy.