Leadership Institute

Walk a mile in the shoes of those who know what it means – and what it takes to inspire others.

The Leadership Institute offers students an outlet for enhancing their ability to inspire and influence people in reaching a collective goal before they begin their collegiate careers. Personal growth, exploration and reflection promote students who will be prepared to make a difference in their communities and create positive change in the world.

At a Glance


Dates: July 23rd- 28th

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, seniors in high school and incoming college freshmen

Program Length: 1 week

Program Tuition: $1,450 (Non Residential) $2,250 (Residential)

Location: Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Campus

Residential or Non Residential:  Non Residential or Residential options offered

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Leadership Institute participants.

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What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered

  • Relationship management, self and social awareness, and team dynamics
  • Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Personal brand management
  • Understanding failure tolerance and how to manage and learn from failure
  • Cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion
  • Case studies on ethical decision making

Hands-On Experience:

  • Participate in team-building by challenging yourself and leading your peers
  • Meet with leadership faculty on Wake Forest’s main campus
  • Work with Wake Forest faculty to develop your personal leadership skills
  • Visit with community leaders from corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to glean leadership lessons in practice
  • Exposure to and application of motivation and leadership techniques

Leadership Institute Costs:

Charlotte Campus (Non-Residential Program) | $1,450

Charlotte Campus (Residential Program) | $2,250

A Day in the Life

  • 9:00-9:30 am – Arrival, Light Breakfast, Journal Writing
  • 9:30-10:30 am – Workshop: Managing Your Personal Brand
  • 10:30-11:00 am – Guest Lecturer: Impact of Leadership Locally and Globally
  • 11:00-11:30 am – Leadership Roundtable
  • 11:30 am-12:00 pm – Motivation Session: How do you motivate yourself and others?
  • 12:00-1:00 pm – Speaker: WFU Coach – Team Dynamics and Motivation
  • 1:00-2:00 pm – Breaking Boundaries – Team Building and Conflict Management Exercise
  • 2:00-3:00 pm – Case Studies: Leadership, Ethics, Motivation
  • 3:00-4:00 pm – Guest Speaker: Military Veteran – Leadership and Service
  • 4:00-4:30 pm – Activity: Create a Personal Action Plan

leadershipMichelle Horton

Academic Leader, Leadership Institute (Charlotte)

Michelle R. Horton currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the Master of Arts in Management Program and the Director of Experiential Learning & Leadership Development at Wake Forest University’s School of Business. She serves as the operational leader for the program as well as develops hands on educational programs to enhance the leadership preparedness and management skills of her students.

Michelle is the founder and CEO of YOUniversity Drive, LLC, a national organization dedicated to helping high school and college students bridge the gap between academics and the real world of work.

Michelle received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Wake Forest University where she was a recipient of the Babcock Award – an honor given to students who demonstrate exceptional scholastic performance, leadership, and integrity. Michelle resides in Charlotte with her husband and they are the proud parents of two wonderful children.