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2024 Civic Leadership Institute

When: June 17-21

Camp runs from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Where: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

2024 Civic Leadership Institute:

Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and American Principles

Students will engage the political thought, speeches, and statesmanship of contemporaries Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to explore the fundamental American principles of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, such as liberty, equality, constitutionalism, and democracy.

The Civic Leadership Institute (CLI) is a 4.5-day, in-person program held at Arizona State University, designed for high school students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the Constitution and American political leaders. In the upcoming year, CLI is offering a day camp setting for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, providing them with on-campus experiences alongside distinguished scholars.

The program features a guided curriculum, professor-led classroom lectures, and discussion groups facilitated by teacher mentors. The program has no attendance fee, and participants who successfully complete it will receive a certificate of completion. Daily lunch and snacks are provided, excluding the last day students are dismissed before lunch.

Although the program does not offer lodging, accepted participants can apply for travel stipends.

The stipends are $500 for students located in Maricopa County and $1000 for students outside Maricopa County.

Applications are closed for 2024.  

Eligibility + Application Information

The Civic Leadership Institute is intended for high school students interested in American civics, government, and history and a solid academic potential to thrive in a challenging environment replicating a college experience. Eligible applicants will be rising high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors with a minimum of 2.75 GPAs (Seniors graduating in May 2024 are ineligible to apply). Statewide representation (geographic diversity) is also a consideration in student selection. Applicants will be selected based on academic achievement, drawn from these materials, and including the following criteria:

Ensure you have a copy of your unofficial transcripts and a letter of recommendation prior to starting your application as both are required. 

  • Academic achievement evidenced by cumulative GPA  and success in relevant coursework (e.g., American History or Government) - minimum grade of B in all high school history or government classes taken to date.
  • A letter of recommendation is required with your application. 
  • A statement of interest should be no more than 250 words. Please tell us why you want to attend the Civic Leadership Institute and what you hope to get from the experience. 

If the current situation prevents you from obtaining any required application materials or information, please send a supplementary statement by email to, and your application will be considered. 

Students who successfully participate in class, discussion, and extracurricular sessions will receive a Civic Leadership Certificate from The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at ASU. After you are fully registered, you will be sent the readings, instructions, and schedules.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Decisions from the selection committee are final. 

The program is entirely free for all participants.

"I really believe I majorly benefitted from getting taught by actual professors, and being able to divide into groups to discuss different topics helped me obtain a far more complex understanding of different perspectives."

-Christina, 2023 Participant

Meet the 2024 Civic Leadership Institute ASU Faculty and Staff