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2018 LeaderShape!

LeaderShape Summer Institute is an advanced, six-day, on-campus residential, ethics-based leadership development experience for young adults. LeaderShape Summer Institute is an interactive, energizing, and unique experience that builds leadership skills no other program can match. It is six days of non-stop self-discovery and learning from practical experiences that build your leadership concepts and abilities. More information about LeaderShape can be found at

The 2018 LeaderShape Summer Institute is scheduled for June 4-9, 2018 at Dominican University of California. A cohort of up to 50 undergraduate students from many universities stay at Dominican’s beautiful campus while building leadership skills and practices that they will utilize back at the home universities and in their personal and professional lives.

Six UC Merced undergraduate students (continuing students only) will be selected to attend along with students from nine other colleges and universities. Students will stay on campus in Edgehill Village with registration fees covered by the university plus up to $125 in travel expenses.

Please read the Information for Students 2017 to learn more about the daily program and watch the short videos of past graduates talking about their experience at

• Applicants must be continuing (not graduating in 2018) UC Merced undergraduate students in good standing with the University.
• Applicants must be available during the entire six-day institute from June 4-9, 2018.
• During LeaderShape, attendees spend the full six days on the Dominican campus 24/7 and attend all sessions.

This application must be submitted by Monday, April 9, 2018 at 8am

Email with any questions.

The opportunity for UC Merced students to attend LeaderShape free of cost has been generously funded by the Associated Students of the University of California, Merced.


Alexander Rey Culannay, UC Merced alumnus

My experience at LeaderShape was amazing. Not only was I able to meet and gain new friends, I was able to establish who I am as a leader. I also learned how to contribute to group settings when not being a leader, having the ability to not take over and include everyone else equally and in their respective strengths. It was also an eye opener. Aside from the day-long activities, learning about how to be a leader and things like that, along with my peers, we had conversations outside the meeting room, including conversations concerning issues from our community, personal issues as well as political issues. 

At LeaderShape we are broken into our family clusters, where we come together as small groups, talk about the things we've covered during the day and become more of a family. It was a lot of bonding with one another within our family clusters to the point where we knew each other on a personal level. But other than that, all of us got to know issues that we would like to change, and learned to be actively committed to making that change, take those steps in trying to bring about your ideas. Overall, it was a great learning experience for me and it has helped to enhance my leadership skills and knowledge.

Ryan Alcaraz, UC Merced senior

The experience from LeaderShape was awesome! Besides being in a welcoming environment to develop leadership skills, you also have an opportunity to network and share experiences with a very diverse group of attendees. I made friends with people from various schools throughout California and still communicate regularly with members. Its great to know people are following the goals they set at LeaderShape, and also that you have someone to talk to about your own goals after the program has ended. The program really helped me to realize what kind of leader I am, including my strengths and weaknesses. I now know which people I will effectively work with the best and how to adapt to leadership situations I am placed in. 

Therese-Marie Vu, UC Merced alumna

LeaderShape was an experience like no other. In the few days I was there I was able to not only learn a great deal about myself but also create a network with my peers and facilitators for an interdependent learning experience. This was especially beneficial because through the workshops and activities, I learned about my own strengths and weaknesses and developed tactics to improve. In addition, I learned ways to be an effective leader and team member by understanding other people's leadership styles. I identified the importance of sharing a vision to make change and became motivated to make a difference in my community. 

Overall, this experience was very beneficial to me. Immediately after, I came back to campus as president of my organization, a peer mentor for incoming freshman and as the Intercultural Programs intern, all motivated to be the best leader and role model I could be. The skills I learned at LeaderShape will be carried on for the rest of my life. More importantly, the relationships I built connected me with the leaders of the future from all over the country. I would recommend this experience to everyone.