1,500 Graduates and Counting!

Making Leadership Center for Excellence’s Young Professionals Program the Most Sought-After Leadership Program for Up-and-Coming Leaders

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Applications due Monday, September 2

Program Structure

The Young Professionals Program is an initiative of the Leadership Center for Excellence which invests in high-potential leaders in the DC Metropolitan area. This unique program takes young professionals age 25-35 on a journey of leadership development across the nonprofit, business and government sectors to learn how effective leaders do what they do and create real community impact.

Using Alexandria and Arlington as a classroom, participants will not just learn how to connect with leaders, they will actually be face to face with people from whom they can model their own developing leadership and management skills.

Participants will finish the program transformed. They will not only strengthen their spirits to lead with purpose, but they will have experienced a range of leadership styles and examples and have an individualized plan in place through executive coaching to make a difference in their organizations and the community.
Offered once annually, this eight-month program meets monthly, primarily on Wednesday afternoons. Using Alexandria and Arlington as a classroom, participants will not just learn how to connect with leaders, they will be face to face with people from whom they can model their own developing leadership and management skills. Throughout the program, members will create meaningful relationships with their peers and dynamic regional leaders that will allow them to expand their leadership footprint in the region.
A balanced class of 40-50 high-potential leaders age 25-35 in the DC Metropolitan area from the private, public and nonprofit sectors.
For more information about the Young Professionals Program, contact Hannah Nequist, Programs Manager, at hnequist@leadercenter.org or 703-528-2522, x18. Please check back for details regarding upcoming information sessions.
Class Members Selected Each Cycle
Days of Experiential Learning
Cost of Tuition (Partial Scholarship Available)
Graduates of Our Programs
Regional Organizations in Our Membership
Member Volunteer Hours Contributed Annually

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Information Sessions

Do You Know of a Promising Up-and-Comer Within Your Company? Leadership Center for Excellence is seeking rising stars in the DC Metropolitan area with high potential to apply for its Young Professionals Program.

In order to help prospective applicants gain an understanding of the Young Professionals Program and to answer questions applicants might have, Leadership Center for Excellence holds information sessions. The sessions include conversations with our members accompanied by a short presentation. We encourage you to attend as our guest!

If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Liz Nohra, Chief of External Relations, at lnohra@leadercenter.org or 703-528-2522, x15.

My expectations after my acceptance to the Spring 2014 Young Professionals Program class were to sharpen some professional skills, learn about the new community to which I had recently moved and make a few contacts along the way. The program exceeded those expectations and more!
Dan Imhoff, BB&T, Spring Class of 2014 Participant
I’ve been pleased to witness the transformation of my team members who have completed the Leadership Center’s Young Professionals Program. Their confidence, collaborative spirit and broader consulting skills have developed significantly as a result of the program. Though we always pride ourselves on hiring the best at every level, the Young Professionals Program catapults these rising stars forward at a significantly greater pace.
Zach Wahl, Enterprise Knowledge, Employer of Participant
Leadership is the key to success for businesses and communities. I can think of no better preparation for future leaders in this area than the Young Professionals Program.
Todd Yeatts, Boeing, Employer of Participant

Benefits of Participation

How do YOU benefit?

  • Opportunity to employ leadership strengths, increase leadership skills and recognize arenas in which unique contributions may be applied

  • Expanded awareness of issues and challenges facing our community

  • Ability to articulate a vision for the community and translate that vision into action

  • Chance to discover strategies for developing others’ personal vision and power

  • Networking with fellow community leaders on a personal and professional level

How does YOUR ORGANIZATION benefit?

  • Retention of employees with deepened leadership capabilities and a greater understanding of how to maximize community engagement

  • Opportunity to showcase your organization’s involvement in the premier leadership organization in the community

  • Rewards of networking with a diverse group of 1,500 community leaders, representing over 600 organizations

  • Visible commitment to service in the community

  • Creation of workforce stability through membership engagement

How does the COMMUNITY benefit?

  • Increased source of quality leaders in the community

  • Improved communication network among civil, social, educational and business leaders in the region

  • Membership contribution of over 25,000 volunteer hours to the community annually, representing over $580,000 in donated time

  • Assistance to leaders in their development, matching their skills and interests with the needs of the community

  • Leadership base with broadened perspectives, prepared to more effectively guide our community into the future


To help you better understand the Young Professionals Program, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions.

To apply for the Young Professionals Program, candidates must be between 25-35 years old. The Young Professionals Program is the ideal program for the high-potential leader in the community region who endeavors to:

  • Develop essential leadership skills for effective personal, professional and community leadership
  • Engage with a network of dynamic civic and philanthropic leaders from the Greater DC region
  • Invest in oneself, one’s organization and the region

Some of our participants are professionals who have been in the workforce for close to ten years, but have not had the opportunity to engage in the community at a deeper level. Others may be in their first or second job and are looking to gain valuable skills for the workplace. If you have questions about which program is best for you, please contact Liz Nohra, Chief of External Relations, at lnohra@leadercenter.org or 703-528-2522.

No. The Young Professionals Program is a regional initiative of Leadership Center for Excellence. There are no geographical barriers to joining the program, and it is open to all qualified individuals in the DC Metropolitan region. All lessons learned are tailored to be applied to the community you live or work in now or in the future.
Our program is your launch pad to community involvement. Not only will you develop friendships with those in your class, but also experience the opportunities offered through Leadership Center for Excellence. Attend Leadership Center for Excellence events and join our network of 1,500+ alumni who represent over 600 organizations. Additionally, during the course of the program, you meet key decision makers, public and elected officials as well as other leaders from the community who become a resource to you on your leadership journey. Whether you seek to understand and embrace your civic responsibilities or look to become more philanthropically engaged with area nonprofits as a volunteer, you will discover new ways to share your time and talents as you expand your leadership footprint.
Offered once annually, the program runs for eight months, starting in October and concluding in May. Class sessions are held once monthly, usually on Wednesdays. We encourage our participants to take their learnings outside of class to be involved in their community and consider attending Leadership Center for Excellence events where they will have opportunities to network with other members. Click here to view the Class of 2020 Program Calendar.
All participants are expected to commit the time necessary to complete the program. Participants are expected to attend all sessions, including the opening retreat, which is mandatory. No more than two excused absences are permitted (including emergency or serious illness). Any participant who misses the opening retreat or more than two monthly sessions will not be permitted to graduate with their class. Arriving late or leaving early from a session counts as a half-absence.
Sessions focus on both community engagement and skill-building. You’ll participate in hands-on, experimental learning while engaging in dialogue with leaders from our community. All Wednesday program days include lunch and snacks throughout. Sessions held in conjunction with Leadership Arlington and the Leadership Summit include breakfast, snacks and lunch.
Tuition for the Young Professionals Program is $3,000. It is our hope that finances will not be a barrier to participation. Candidates interested in applying for financial assistance should submit a one-page document with the amount requested and the rationale for the request. These scholarship requests should be submitted along with your application to apps@leadercenter.org. Additionally, payment plans are available upon request by contacting Liz Nohra, Chief of External Relations, at lnohra@leadercenter.org or 703-528-2522.
After graduation, you will have the opportunity to remain engaged with the Leadership Center for Excellence in a variety of ways. You may participate in volunteer committees within the organization which allow you to continue increasing your professional and personal network as our committees are manned by alumni of our Leadership Arlington program and Young Professionals Program.

You will also find that there will be multiple opportunities for you to engage in activities that are geared directly to graduates of all of the Young Professionals Program classes such as class reunions and community volunteer engagements. Additionally, alumni-only events allow for relationship-building among the diverse group of leaders within our LCE network. Several of Leadership Center for Excellence’s ticketed events offer a reduced discount for alumni. Finally, you’ll have access to Leadership Center for Excellence’s password protected alumni directory, providing you even more access to some of our region’s most dynamic leaders.

Thank You to Our Program Sponsors

Advocate Sponsors

Ellen M. Bozman Fund of the Arlington Community Foundation

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Whether you attend our skills development workshops, request a custom consulting arrangement or participate in a program with Leadership Arlington or Leadership Center for Excellence, the experiential learning environment we create will equip you with fresh insights and concrete tools. We'd love to speak with you about where you are and where you'd like to be!
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