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The Brown Leadership Institute

Cultivating young leaders for social change

Application opens December 3 for Summer 2020

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems facing our global community. At this moment young people like you from all over the world are contemplating their futures with a mix of excitement and skepticism. Many are wondering what role they can have in building a more inclusive, peaceful, and equitable world.

The Brown Leadership Institute believes that young people are already making powerful contributions to their communities, and, through participation in this program, no matter your current level of engagement, you can increase your ability to advance social justice.

To prepare young people to create positive change, this innovative program integrates three foundational components: study of a compelling academic topic, exploration of socially responsible leadership, and development of a meaningful action plan.

The high school students in the Brown Leadership Institute possess a diversity of experiences, interests, and leadership skills. At the same time, they share a passion for advancing social justice around issues that are important to them. The Brown Leadership Institute cultivates an inclusive, welcoming, and affirming environment. As a Leadership Institute student, you will be challenged, inspired, and supported by our faculty and curriculum, and energized by engagement with students from all over the world.

2019 Dates & Fees:

Two-Week Residential Sessions:
June 23 - July 5, 2019
July 7 - July 19, 2019
July 21 - Aug 2, 2019

Eligibility: For students completing grades 9-12, ages 15-18 by June 2019

Fees: $4,508

Note: Enrollment in this program requires several hours of online engagement prior to campus arrival. This online participation can be completed at any time where internet access is available.

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Study, Practice, Transform

Study with Faculty Experts

Leadership Institute students select one course of study from an array of options, each focusing on current social issues.

Summer 2019 Courses

View all 2019 Leadership Institute courses »

All Leadership Institute students enroll in one course for the two-week program and attend class sessions twice a day.

Practice Socially Responsible Leadership

The Brown Leadership Institute believes that all students have the capacity to effect positive change for their communities. We expand upon traditional definitions of leadership, introducing participants to an accessible model that promotes collaboration self-knowledge, community engagement, empowerment, and social justice. Through interactive workshops students further have the opportunity to develop and practice active listening, public speaking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and teamwork.

Transform your Passion into Informed Action

Socially responsible leadership is a lifelong pursuit that requires ongoing learning, reflection, and commitment. In a complicated and challenging world, the Leadership Institute provides students guidance, insight, and empowerment to address critical issues in meaningful and sustainable ways. As a key component of the integrated learning in and out of the classroom, students develop an action plan that builds on their new knowledge and can be applied to issues facing their home community. Recent action plan topics include:

  • organizing a youth march around LGBTQ+ rights;
  • creating a teen advisory board to inform local government;
  • providing free SAT tutoring for low-income students;
  • raising awareness about the impact of climate change;
  • implementing workshops on healthy relationships

See how Leadership Institute students have put their learning into action!


Life on the Brown Campus

Join an Engaged Learning Community

To build a strong learning community, Leadership Institute students are housed together on campus in the same Brown University residence hall. Undergraduate Leadership Institute Assistants serve as both Classroom Assistants in the classroom and Resident Assistants in the Residence Hall, providing students with consistent and caring guidance throughout the program. Students eat their meals in Brown’s dining halls, and have access to Brown libraries, study centers, and The Brown Writing Center.

A Typical Day

7:30 - 9:00am Breakfast in a dining hall
9:00 – 11:30am Class
11:30am – 1:00pm Lunch in a dining hall
1:00 – 3:00pm Class
3:15 – 5:00pm Leadership workshops
Past summer’s topics include: Introduction to Leadership Styles; Exploring Identity and Privilege
5:00 – 6:00pm Free time for homework or co-curricular activities
6:00 – 7:30pm Dinner in a dining hall
7:30 – 10:00pm Free time for homework or co-curricular activities

Students will have 1-3 hours of homework each day

10:00pm Curfew

Closing Program - Families are encouraged to attend

We warmly welcome family and friends to attend the Closing Program for the Leadership Institute. This is an inspiring culmination to your student's experience, and a terrific opportunity to meet faculty, students and staff.

About the Program Director: Kisa Takesue

Director, Pre-College and Leadership Programs

Received her A.B. in American Studies, with a focus on Asian American Studies from Brown University, and her M.S.S.W. from the University of Austin-Texas. Prior to joining the Division of Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs, she worked in Campus Life at Brown in several capacities including: Coordinator of the Third World Center (now named the Center for Students of Color); Director of Student Activities and the Stephen Robert ‘62 Campus Center; and Associate Dean of Orientation and Diversity Initiatives. During her tenure in Campus Life, her responsibilities included oversight and involvement in First Year Orientation, International Orientation and the International Mentoring Program, the Women Peer Counselors Program, the Resident Counselors Program, the Community Director Program, student conduct, crisis response, diversity initiatives, and student organizations. She currently oversees the Leadership Institute and the Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL). She also worked as medical social worker and advocate for pregnant and parenting teenagers.

In this interview, Kisa Takesue talks about how students emerge from the Brown Leadership Institute with an increased sense of personal agency and commitment to their communities after gaining a greater understanding of what it means to be a socially responsible leader.


Interview with Kisa Takesue: Brown Leadership Institute »

John Carter Brown Library
Activities Fair

Campus Resources

Dining Halls

Brown University has two dining halls that students use for three meals each day: Sharpe Refectory (the “Ratty”) and Verney-Woolley (“V-Dub”). Academic year menus and information is available here.

MY MEAL: MyMeal is an online tool that can help you make smart, healthy choices in Brown dining units. Use it to:
  • View upcoming menu options
  • Plan healthy meals throughout the day, and
  • Identify and filter the top 8 food allergens

Visit for more information.

Libraries and Study Centers

Brown libraries and study centers are available for research, browsing, or quiet study throughout the summer. Highlights include the John D. Rockefeller Library ("the Rock"), the Sciences Library and the Friedman Study Center, and the special collections at the John Hay Library. Learn More »

The Brown Writing Center

The Writing Center helps students choose and refine topics, and write organized, well-supported, and eloquent essays. The Center offers summer hours especially for Brown Pre-College students.

Computing Labs

Locations across campus offer computers, scanners and printers. If you do not own a laptop there are a limited number available for loan through the Computing and Information Services Department while on campus.

Health and Psychological Services

Students can receive medical and emotional support services for short-term critical needs while they are on-campus. These services are physically open Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm. When the offices are not open, there are emergency on-call support systems in place, including Brown’s EMS that can evaluate and transport students and athletes to Hasbro Children’s Hospital if further care is needed.

Locations of Interest On and Near Campus

Some places students might want to visit while participating in a program at Brown are listed below:

The BeU Lounge

Brown University, and Pre-College Programs, are committed to developing an academic and residential community that embodies the social and intellectual diversity of the world.The BeU lounge series is a gateway that provide pre-college students an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone by making new friends and participating in learning opportunities that delve into diversity, equity, inclusion and identity exploration. Resident Assistants who are passionate about these subjects will facilitate workshops, programs, and roundtable discussions to help students comfortably navigate their personal identity development and the diverse world in which we live.

Providence: Historic and Hip

Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island, the state's capital and largest city. Known as the "Creative Capital", Providence has long been a haven for creativity and innovation. Three-and-a-half centuries of history are alive and well on the streets surrounding Brown, as is evident in the immaculately preserved Colonial, Federal, Greek revival, and Victorian houses of "College Hill".

Thayer Street runs through the center of campus, and where you’ll find the Brown University Bookstore and a host of restaurants, coffee shops, stores, banks, and street vendors.

Admission Criteria

How to Apply

Application opens December 3 for Summer 2020

Admission Criteria

Prospective students must apply for admission. When evaluating applications, the admissions team looks for academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, social maturity, self-motivation and a readiness for participation in an independent academic environment.

A Complete Application Consists of the Following Items:

  1. A Completed Application Form
    Parents and Students: Please be sure to create only one account per applicant.
    Your application provides basic information about you. In addition, students should be prepared to write an essay. Although the essay prompt may differ depending on the program you apply to, in general, you should be prepared to tell us:
    • what you hope to learn in the program to which you are applying and why that program is of interest to you;
    • what areas of study you are interested in;
    • what contributions you hope to make in and outside of the classroom;
    • and any further information you want to convey to us.
  2. A Non-refundable Application Fee (payable securely by credit card within the Student Portal)
    One application fee per application submitted
    • Before 3/1/2019: $50
    • 3/1/2019 to 4/29/2019: $75
    • 4/30/2019 and after: $100
  3. An Academic Transcript or Grade Report

    Academic records must be submitted in the application form by the applicant. They do NOT need to be submitted by your school guidance counselor. Applicants must submit grades from the 2018-2019 academic term and at least two previous academic years. Acceptable attachments include, but are not limited to:

    • Progress reports;
    • Report cards;
    • Narrative assessments; and/or
    • Unofficial transcripts.

    Documentation must include your full name and the academic term(s) represented. Please also be sure an explanation of the grading scale used by your school(s) (i.e., A = Excellent, 5 = Average, etc.,) appears on the documents, or provide one for us, along with an English translation as appropriate.

Please note:

  • In some cases, additional application materials may be requested. Additional materials may include transcripts, essays, or teacher recommendations.
  • Applications will not be reviewed by the Admission Review Committee until they are complete.
  • Program admission does not guarantee enrollment in a specific course.
  • Courses may be cancelled at any time due to unforeseen circumstance.

Notification of Admission Decision

Applicants will be notified by email to log into their Student Portal to view their admission decision once it has been made. Our admissions team carefully reviews each application submitted. In most cases, admission decisions are made within 10 business days of receiving a complete application; however, during high volume times, it may take up to 15 business days.

Confirming Attendance with a Program Deposit

Accepted students must confirm their attendance by submitting a $300 non-refundable program deposit. Students attending more than one program must submit a $300 non-refundable deposit for each program. Students will not be able to enroll in courses until a program deposit is received.


Student and parents are encouraged to review our Policies page to learn about important payment deadlines, refunds, code of conduct, and more.

Important Information for International Students

Brown University Pre-College programs welcome applications from international students. Learn about English language proficiency requirements, Immigration Guidelines, Deadlines for Submitting Documentation, How to Apply for a Visa, and more on our International Students page.

For Pre-Baccalaureate Students: Please note that we must receive your completed application, including your teacher recommendation, by April 15th, in order to ensure sufficient time to review your application, and, if admitted, process I-20 materials. If you currently hold valid F-1 status, or are Canadian, you may be still eligible to participate in the program. Please email for more information.

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