1,500 Graduates and Counting!

Making Leadership Center for Excellence’s Ignite 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 Ignite Young Professionals Program is designed for the young professional, aged 25-35, looking for a fast track leadership development experience.This program works best for those who believe community engagement and giving back matters. The Leadership Center is looking for aspiring high potentials with a sense of urgency for both career advancement and community impact and want the knowledge, connections and safe place to practice developing skills that move them faster towards meaningful leadership. Ignite was crafted to expose participants to ideas, organizations and established area leaders that can catapult emerging leaders into situations to create real value and change.

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.
Cross-sector young professionals  aged 25-35 who seek to develop meaningful and lifelong relationships with fellow classmates, creating an instant cohort of like-minded peers, as well as access to the Leadership center’s dynamic 1,500 area alumni, including face-to-face, one-on-one interaction with a member of the Center’s Board of Regents.
For more information about the Young Professionals Program, contact Liz Nohra, Chief of External Relations at lnohra@leadercenter.org or 703-528-2522.

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.

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

Join Our 1,500+ Satisfied Graduates!

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Information Sessions

Attend an information session! In order to help prospective applicants gain an understanding of the Ignite Young Professionals Program and to answer questions applicants might have, Leadership Center for Excellence holds information sessions. We encourage you to attend as our guest!

Ignite Information Session: Thursday, August 15, 6:00-7:30pm; Bean, Kinney & Korman, PC, 2311 Wilson Boulevard, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Arlington, VA 22201

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?

  • Learn leadership from those who practice it every day across the region

  • Develop experience and relationships that pay dividends personally and professionally

  • Experience exclusive leadership development training from the Center and its faculty

  • Be recognized as a rising leader with the demonstrated ability to take on challenges and serve the community beyond your ability today

How does YOUR ORGANIZATION benefit?

  • Better skilled employees, regardless of organization’s size

  • Deeper community connections for high potential employees that keep them more tied to the region

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

  • Enhancement of employment brand as an organization dedicated to growing the next generation of committed community leaders

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 Ignite Young Professionals Program, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions.

To apply for the Ignite Young Professionals Program, candidates must be between 25-35 years old. Ignite is the ideal program for the high-potential leader in the community region is looking for a fast track leadership development experience. This program is ideal for those who believe community engagement and giving back matters.

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. Please carefully review the schedule as it includes attendance at specific Leadership Center events that are directly tied into your overall experience. We encourage our participants to take their learnings outside of class to be involved in their community and consider attending other 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 $2,950 and includes all meals, attendance fees to events listed in the schedule, and materials. 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 as an alum 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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