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Apply to host the Summer Leadership Academy in 2022

There are a variety of roles in the Summer Leadership Academy and one of the most exciting roles is being a host! As a host, you develop and implement a summer program in your community or city. You assemble a team of 3-5 grassroots organizers who will help with various buckets of work including mentorship, transportation, outreach coordination, and curriculum development! Some of the benefits of hosting include a paid Everytown summer program internship (upon completion of Thriving in the Field, our leadership training course), full access to a summer program budget (to design the most interactive and impactful events), and the ability to collaborate with a national network of grassroots organizers who oftentimes become your friends and family. 

While no prior experience in gun violence prevention or leadership is required to host or be a program team member, the strongest candidates demonstrate a passion and commitment for gun violence prevention.

What you can do

Host a Summer Leadership Academy

  1. Mentor students from communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence, including low-income students, survivors, and people of color in Summer 2022
  2. Join a national community of grassroots student organizers
  3. Secure support and resources to fight gun violence in your community

Nominate a Student Leader

  1. Help start a summer program for students in your community
  2. Join a national community of grassroots student organizers
  3. Empower a Student Leader to develop their professional leadership skills

Support the Summer Leadership Academy

  1. Share this page with a Student Leader
  2. Join our mailing list by visiting

Become a Host

Our application process is simple and designed to showcase your leadership skills. We are committed to respecting your time and providing ongoing support throughout the application process. 

To start the host city application process all you need to do is submit a short 1-3 minute interest. After that, one of our program team members will reach out for introductions and help you develop a summer program proposal. The proposal you develop will then be judged alongside others in the month of November 2021. 

Our team will support your program proposal development on a rolling basis.

1. Apply
  • Application Opens July 19th 2021 
  • Application Closes October 15, 2021
  • We will follow-up with all applicants to schedule an interview.
2. Our team will work with you to Develop your Summer Leadership Academy proposal
  • Proposal Development Starts August 1, 2021
  • Proposal Development Ends November 15, 2021

Host Cities will be selected on November 30th, 2021. The earlier you start the summer host application process, the better your chances of being selected

Thriving in the Field

As part of our commitment to developing your leadership skills and providing the resources you need to be a successful grassroots gun sense organizer, we present to you Thriving in the Field, our volunteer and seminar style leadership training program. This course is interactive and designed to prepare program team leaders (that’s you!) for the rigorous demands of managing and facilitating a Summer Leadership Academy. 

This program includes an in-person and online course which program team leaders will be required to complete. The course leverages seminar style teaching methods, topic experts, and peer-to-peer learning to foster strong leadership skills. It includes units like Introduction to Gun Violence Prevention, Professional Communication, Community Building, Project Management, and Community Outreach! (P.S. Some of the most popular trainings include Time Management, Self Care, etc. The course is very popular and we promise that you won’t want to miss out)

Thriving in the Field is a prerequisite course for a paid Everytown Summer Leadership Academy internship. It is available for host city applicants only.

What course participants are saying:

“I am more open to sharing my ideas to others without the fear of being judged. I am most proud of how far we have all come in our summer leadership academy programs. This year was tough and I feel we all handled it exceptionally well.”

“I have grown more confident in my organizing and improved my critical skills, such as time management, both in the personal and activism level.” 

“I feel like I have gained some confidence. Talking is not really my strong point. Activities like making an elevator pitch as well as the discussion questions at the beginning of meetings really helped me. I am proud of how we collaborated together”

Meet Our Alumni

“It was rocky at first because we didn’t know each other, but as time went by we got closer and closer…eventually we became a family.”

Angel Barrales, 14 (He/Him/His)

“…this is exactly what I was hoping for and more. Being able to present my proposal to judges, and gaining experience was such a powerful and impactful part of this program.”

Alessandra Zepeda Ortiz, 15 (They/Them/Theirs)

“I truly enjoyed my role as Program Manager for the South-Central Summer Leadership Academy. At first, I was very nervous because I knew it would take a lot of effort but being organized and staying ahead really helped our team become better and transition throughout the events with ease. Thinking back about everything we did this summer; I am proud of the amazing students I was able to mentor and lead.”

Justin Funez, 18 (He/Him/His)

“I wanted to learn how to create my own service projects and effectively solve the issues I cared about most. I learned that, and more. Not only did I learn what problems run deep in our society and what to do about them, but this experience made me feel more comfortable with talking about the prejudice I see and have experienced. With this knowledge, I now feel more empowered to facilitate change and more passionate about gun sense.”

Iman Omer, 17 (She/Her/Hers)

“I encourage anyone who wants to give back to their community to host a summer program. For me, the academy was very educational. I went from knowing little about the gun violence prevention movement to understanding how my friends and I can make a social impact. As a core team leader you will also learn skills that will help you in life.”

Aaronica Domonique , 21 (She/Her/Hers)

“As we got deeper into the program those friendships turned into family and through my personal experiences, I could tell the people that I surrounded myself for those few months really cared for me as I did for them.”

Jonathan Gonzalez, 16 (He/Him/His)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How old do I need to be to host the 2020-2021 Summer Leadership Academy?

    Student leaders to be 18 years of age by January 8, 2021.

  • What’s the time commitment to host a summer program?

    If you accept to host the Summer Leadership Academy, then you would serve an 8 month leadership role between Friday, January 8, 2020 and Tuesday, August 31, 2020.

  • What is a host city award?

    The opportunity to host a summer program between June 14 and August 31, 2021 that teaches students from communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence, including low-income students, survivors, and people of color, how to be leaders in the gun violence prevention movement.

  • How much organizing or advocacy experience do I need to qualify for the application?

    No organizing or advocacy experience is required to host a summer program. We will happily provide you with mentoring, training, and resources at no cost so that you can run a successful summer program.

  • What resources are available to Host City Leaders?

    Access to meal, mentoring, and transportation at no cost to program participants and, in some cases, internship opportunities for student program managers.

Contact Us

Summer Leadership Academy