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Youth Leadership – Ahn Instructional Design and Technology

Youth Leadership

Youth Leadership - Business and International Relations 2.0

A Summer Program for Global Leadership Training

July 24-August 6, 2016

Run by Columbia University faculty and alumni, Youth Leadership is a highly intensive two-week summer program for high school and college students interested in learning how to make a positive impact on society. The goal of the program is to provide students with the skills needed for leadership success in the 21st Century, including creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and cross-cultural fluency. Students will receive inspiring, hands-on experience in:

  • finance
  • international relations
  • entrepreneurship

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with industry professionals as well as professors and graduate students from Columbia University and other Ivy League schools. The daily schedule will include lectures, workshops and site visits to finance firms, non-governmental organizations and start-ups.

Students will gain valuable hands-on experience that will contribute to their future success.

Program graduates will gain valuable insight into global issues and policies and a competitive advantage over peers who have not had the opportunity to participate in this program. They will also have acquired enhanced skills for 21st Century success and completed a project that can be showcased in college and university applications.


Columbia University

in the City of New York

Total “Columbia” Experience

Columbia Dormitory

Youth Leadership 2.0 students will live in a two-person dormitory room with shared bathrooms on each floor. The dormitory building includes a laundry room and common area. Program workshops and group work sessions will often be held in the dormitory. Only a short distance to classrooms and the dining hall, it is very safe to walk on campus throughout the day.

Columbia Dining Hall

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in the Columbia dining hall during the week (Monday through Friday). During the weekends, students will explore the many popular dining options close to campus; there are also take-out service and catering options available.

Columbia Classrooms & Faculty

All of the lecturers and staff member in the Youth Leadership 2.0 program are current or former Columbia university professors and students. With the exception of site visits and workshops, most lectures take place on the Columbia campus.

Columbia ID Card

All Youth Leadership 2.0 students will receive an official Columbia University ID card. The card can be used to access the residential dormitory, classrooms, and dining hall.

Summary of Program Goals

  • Experience real Columbia University and Harvard Business School courses.
  • Gain hands-on experience in finance, business development, international affairs and NGOs.
  • Listen to and interact with first-rate speakers including Ivy League professors, alumni and entrepreneurs.
  • Develop 21st Century skills and an increased understanding of what is required to succeed to today’s digital economy.
  • Design, develop and present a final student project that may be included in resumes, portfolios and college and university applications.

The Two Main “Tracks”

The Youth Leadership program covers a broad range of topics. However, students may choose one of two “specialty” tracks to further explore in depth: Business and Entrepreneurship or International Relations and Policy (see specific topics covered below). This may include talking to experts and current students in the field, skill development workshops and other breakout sessions to further enhance a student’s interest in the track of choice. Final project teams will have at least one member from each track to ensure a well-rounded presentation and pitch.

Business & Entrepreneurship

Topics include, but not limited to:

  • Business Plan
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Developing Business Canvas
  • Financial Projections

International Relations

  • International Affairs
  • Development Policies
  • Public and Private Sectors


Final Project

Students will work in small groups with at least one student from each specialty track. The final project will include a business plan or proposal that addresses a topic and theme that will be provided during the program. Each group (usually 4-5 students per group) will present its project to a group of judges who are experts in the international arena, whether in business or policies and development. Top teams will earn recognition and mentorship by professionals.

Certificate of Completion

A certificate of completion will be provided at the end of the two-week course. Recommendation letters will be available upon request at the end of the program.

Lectures from the experts in IR and business

Lots of collaboration and discussions

Final team project and presentation


Top Five Reasons for Coming

  • Explore the HOT industries of entrepreneurship and international relations
    • See what you can do in college and real world in these fields
    • Talk and network with current students, alumni, professors and industry professionals
  • Experience Columbia University
    • See first-hand what life is like at an Ivy League institution
    • Columbia dormitory, dining hall, classroom, professors and mentors… Enough said!
  • Gain a competitive advantage in college admissions
    • Develop a portfolio as part of CAAS* (see below for more information)
    • Demonstrate interest in cutting-edge fields
  • Be inspired
    • Learn what it takes to succeed from successful people
    • See and hear stories from mentors (e.g., overcoming challenges)
  • Have fun
    • Interact with students from various backgrounds
    • Experience New York City in the summer (e.g., Yankee games, outdoor concerts and picnics)

Visit UN Headquarter

Tech business visits

* Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success (CAAS)

Eighty colleges, including the Ivy League schools, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago, have joined together to create a new application and portfolio platform for high school students. The new platform will be available beginning in the summer of 2016 and will include three new initiatives:

  1. High school student portfolio: Starting in the 9th grade, students will be expected to add their best work, including extra-curricular activities.
  2. College and high school interaction: Colleges will be able to view the portfolio and provide advice.
  3. A new application system: Many questions will provide links to the content of the portfolio.

In summary: Developing a meaningful portfolio is becoming increasingly important in top college admissions.


Alessia Lefébure

Alessia Lefébure has broad expertise and experience in global academic affairs and the sociology of higher education. She is Director of the Alliance at Columbia University where she joined the faculty as an adjunct in the School of International and Public Affairs in 2011. Prior to that, she taught at Sciences Po Paris and Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Jeremy Kagan

MBA, Columbia Business School

BS/BA, University of Pennsylvania

CEO Pricing Engine, Expert in digital marketing

Jeremy Kagan is an expert in digital marketing and the founder and CEO of Pricing Engine, a web service that empowers users to benchmark, optimize and expand their digital marketing campaigns

Complete Application. Deadline: Rolling for Local students

Apply Now!

  • Course Info & Schedule
  • Activities & Visits
  • Tuition & Deadlines
Course Info & Schedule

Course Information

The main lecture is an actual graduate level course at Columbia University redesigned for high school students.

Program dates:

July 24 – August 6, 2016

Campus tour

Sample Day Schedule

8-9 AM Breakfast (Columbia University Dining Hall)
9-12 Lecture / Class (Columbia University or at designated company/organization)
12-1 PM Lunch (Columbia University Dining Hall)
1-4 PM Workshops (business & entrepreneurship or international affairs & policy development)
4-5 PM Free time
5-6:30 PM Dinner
6:30-8 PM Activities (e.g. college nights, seminars, games, and other fun/educational things!)

Sample Program Schedule * (tentative and order subject to change depending on company visit scheduling, etc.)

Week 1
Day 1

Arrival and check-in

Day 2

Welcome and orientation; overview lecture and discussion of trends and development in business, entrepreneurship; introduction to final project

Day 3

Field trip – Columbia campus tour; lecture on international affairs and policy development

Day 4

Lecture on international affairs and policy development.

“How Do I Get Into a School like Columbia?” Admissions mentoring and advice session

Day 5

Field trip – Visit to UN Headquarter, Wall Street, and Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Day 6

Finance workshop offered by Wall Street professionals; Yankees v. Mets baseball game


Day 7

Field trip to startup companies (Price Engine, General Assembly, etc.)

Week 2
Day 8 Lecture on international affairs and policy development
Day 9

Mini internship at selected finance firms, startups, and/or NGOs.

Day 10

Mini internship experience at selected finance firms, startups, and/or NGOs.

Day 11  

Structured free day – shopping, museum visit (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, American Museum of Natural History, etc.)


Day 12 Reserved work day – finish, polish, and rehearse final projects
Day 13 Final Project Pitch & Presentation; Graduation and Certificate awarding ceremony
Day 14 Check-out & Departure
Activities & Visits


Last year, Youth Leadership participants had the opportunity to visit the United Nations, and to learn more, first-hand, about the International Monetary Fund and Doctors Without Borders. During each visit, students met with professionals to gain insights into the workings of the organization and the role it plays in today’s world.

Similar site visits are planned for the 2016 program.

Talking about IMF work after college @Georgetown University

Selfie opportunity @UN Security Council Chamber

Doctors without Borders experience discussion

Official campus tour @Columbia University

Scavenger Hunt in Central Park

One of our very first activity is a game in Central Park. Be prepared to roam through the greatest urban park in a hot summer day! We guarantee that you will get to know your teammates and find things out about the park that you never knew (yes, even if you’re a New Yorker!).

A student completing a mission.

A team mission.

New York City Tour

It is the greatest city in the world. You will get to find out why Columbia University has insanely low admission rate. Not only is it a world-class Ivy League institution, it is situated in New York City! Academic or Fun activities are abundant!

Bull Run near Wall Street

Watching Red Sox vs Yankees @Yankee Stadium

Tuition & Deadlines

Application & Registration Detail

Dates July 24 – August 6, 2016

Program Cost – includes tuition and classroom supplies/materials

  • Residential – $5,590 (includes: Columbia University housing, 3 meals each day and sponsored trips and activities within NYC)
  • Commuter – $4,250 *

Application Requirement

  • Application
  • Demonstrated interests in related field
  • Personal Essay
  • For International students:
    • 90+ TOEFL score;
    • attending English-language based school last 2+ years; OR
    • Skype interview is required if above requirements are not met
  • Copy of most recent transcript (unofficial)

Application deadline:

  • Residential (May 31, 2016)
  • Commuter (Rolling)

* Need-based financial aid is provided. Must provide documentation and complete additional section of the application.


Q: Will this program help a participant get into Columbia University?


There is no one single program that will help a student gain admission to a top-tier institution like Columbia University. However, more and more colleges are looking for demonstrated interest and passion towards what students want to pursue in college and beyond. This is what the Youth Leadership 2.0 program is trying to instill amongst participants. By building up a portfolio, students will increase their chances of gaining admission to prestigious universities as long as they continue to pursue these interests in depth with the guidance and mentoring of program leaders.

Q: Does the program provide visas for international students?

A: No. The program does not provide visas (I-20 and DS-2019). Most students come on a travel visa since the program is only two weeks long. An invitation letter can be provided for students who need and request it.

Q: What skills are needed to participate in one of the two tracks?

A: Students need some basic skill level or an interest in or passion for learning more about the specific track. The Youth Leadership 2.0 program is more about exploration and learning about career possibilities. As much skill development as possible within a two-week program will be achieved.

Q: May students come earlier or stay longer after the program ends?

A: On a case-by-case basis, students may be accommodated for an extra day or two, if circumstances warrant. For example:

  • Gap days between previous/subsequent summer program (e.g., attending a camp in NYC as in international student two days after Youth Leadership 2.0 ends);
  • Extra mentoring and guidance to continue working on project development;
  • International travel schedules to/from the program

Please note that there will be additional costs of $190 per day for arranging accommodation with a chaperone. There may also be additional costs for food travel, etc. If Columbia University dormitory rooms are not available, alternative housing, with chaperoning, will be arranged.

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