Applications for GLA 2022 will open in Fall 2021. Questions? Contact us!

Global Leadership Academy England for Senior Youth

July 10 – 30, 2022

The Global Leadership Academy for Youth Ages 15 to 18 transforms young leaders in the beautiful Cambridge area of England!

We know that all youth are powerful, but that they often lack the skills such as confidence, leadership and global perspective necessary to be effective leaders of their own future success.

The Senior Global Leadership Academy is a summer youth leadership programme specifically designed for international teenagers ages 15-18.  The aim is to develop their leadership abilities through an engaging 3-week program packed with team challenges, fascinating field trips, fun outdoor activities, and new experiences in the historic English countryside near Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge.

The program tuition includes all program materials, insurance, transportation to/from the airport as well as 6 months of post-program online coaching to ensure youth continue their personal development and leadership goals they committed to during the training program.

Testimonials from our graduates


  • Hundreds of young leaders attend our summer youth leadership programmes from over 20 different countries around the world every summer
  • Designed for all English language levels with experience-based education and ESL compatible instruction 
  • Each participant completes 80+ hours of community service and service-learning hours.
  • All participants develop, research, plan, and present their own DREAM service project turning their passions into a purpose that leads positive change in their community. 

Learn how two Powerful Youth alumni used their DREAM Project to help save lives!

What will you be doing at the Senior Global Leadership Academy UK?

Participants are expected to arrive throughout the day to the Brookes Cambridge campus. Local pick-up and transportation will be provided from either Heathrow International Airport (LHR), London Stansted Airport (STN), or Cambridge Train Station.  As students arrive on campus, they will be assigned a room, provided a brief orientation, food, and a chance to unpack and settle in. Activities or entertainment will be organized, but optional. Today is a chance to get some rest and relaxation in preparation for the adventure of a lifetime in these next 3 weeks.

The first official day of the Global Leadership Academy starts with lots of exciting activities and the opportunity for participants to get to know each other, our staff, and all that the campus can provide. Participants will set up their online learning portfolios, and do their first exercises as we tackle the big question: “what is leadership?” Participants will be divided into home groups, and team challenges will help bring students from around the world together as a group.

Confidence is something that every leader needs but can only grow by expanding their comfort zone. We will take on an outdoor challenge course in Thetford Forest, supporting each other along the way and bonding as a group. In the evening, participants are guided through exercises and reflections to help them discover their passions and guiding values.

One of the major benefits of leadership is providing meaningful service to others, so our morning begins with both learning about and volunteering at a local community organization. Participants will not only get to give back to their host community, but they will also gain a better perspective on the issues and challenges that leaders face in trying to change their community for the better. Other activities today are focused on figuring out all the different skills, ideas, and elements that define “a leader”, how to inspire others, and the importance of reflection in leadership growth. In the evening, we welcome a guest speaker to inspire participants even more!

Communication and collaboration are among the most important skills youth need for future success. Of course, better communication is often easier said than done, which we think is the problem. Through a variety of inspirational videos, outdoor team challenges, and research insights, we attempt to get at what truly effective communication is all about…and why most people fail at it. Participants then get a chance to learn about communication and leadership in an unexpected manner… a dance lesson!

It’s off the nearby Bury St. Edmunds, a beautiful and historic small English city known as “the Jewel in the Crown of Suffolk”. We will visit the famous Abbey and gardens, have a scavenger hunt across the city, and then some free time to shop or wander through the beautiful streets. After dinner back at campus, we have a fun and challenging evening activity at a local sports park.

Today’s activity asks participants to put the skills they have learned so far to the test to develop, prepare, and deliver an activity to the Junior GLA group designed to teach them an assigned leadership or teamwork skill. It’s a valuable opportunity to gain applied leadership experience and receive constructive feedback! In the evening, we have an opportunity to get to know each other better with a cultural exchange party featuring games, songs, and snacks from everyone’s countries.

Today the participants are asked to start thinking not only about themselves and their passions, values, and skills, but to look outward at their communities and the world. What problems are being faced? How are issues or people interconnected? What issues or causes do they care about most? But then, we move into action. In the afternoon, they are introduced to the upcoming Service Challenge, a project where they will have the potential to make a real contribution to an issue or cause they care about. 


With only days to plan and minimal money to spend, teams of participants take to the streets of Bury St Edmunds to try to raise as much money as possible for a charity or non-profit of their choice. How will they do it? What approach will they take? Where will they be? That’s all up to them! This challenge (and wow, is it a challenge!) truly demonstrates how it does not take a lot of time or resources to make a difference. We’ve had teams in the past raise hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars to donate! At night, we celebrate with a dinner in the city and a fun evening activity to finish off the busy day.

The morning kicks off with a walk in the English countryside. It’s the perfect chance to reflect on everything they have learned about themselves so far before taking on some challenging projects and activities in the coming days. In the afternoon, we start thinking about the Community Fair. GLA will host neighbours and community members for a fun evening benefiting a local charity, and participants are responsible for the planning and execution! It’s leadership in action, all for a good cause.

Empathy and compassion are crucial skills for leaders, and Powerful Youth believes service learning is one of the most valuable ways to learn leadership skills. By giving their time and energy to a local organization supporting the less fortunate, participants not only gain valuable insights and skills they can apply in the future, but feel good about giving back to their host community. Then, it’s time to take a break at Stour Valley Park! We take a kayak tour on the river and then enjoy a picnic dinner and some group games in the park.

Project management skills are essential for any aspiring leader, no matter how they plan to make an impact! After a morning learning the basics of project management through interactive lessons and activities, planning and preparing for the Community Fair continues. In the evening, we welcome another guest speaker to inspire our young leaders and give them a chance to ask questions to someone following their passions and making a difference.

It’s an exciting day… we’re off to Cambridge! We will first tour the Cambridge University campus and visit famous locations across town, learning about the city and university’s rich history! In the afternoon we have an optional visit to Cambridge’s top museum, or participants can choose to take time to simply explore, shop, and take photos. At night, we relax our legs after a busy day of walking with a British movie night, complete with all the classic snacks and sweets!

Today participants prepare and present their Leadership Profile and Timeline. Who are they as a leader? What experiences have led them to who they are today? Who has inspired them? These questions (and more!) will guide them in developing this project. In the afternoon, we welcome a guest coach to teach us how to play the U.K.’s national sport: cricket! To round out the evening, we all get a chance to learn more about each other with a Gallery Walk featuring the Leadership Profile and Timelines completed earlier in the day.

Collaboration is a delicate and difficult balancing act of combining your ideas with those of other people. Today is a decathlon of uniquely designed team events that are as much fun as they are lessons on teamwork. It’s all about knowing how to make your way through the team development process of forming, storming, norming, and eventually, performing.  Each member of the team will need to work together physically and mentally! In the evening, we’ll talk about how to set goals you can go out and achieve!

Today we dive deep into English history – knights and Shakespeare! First we tour Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon, and then it’s off to explore over 1100 years of exciting history at the picturesque Warwick Castle. We explore the grounds, gardens, and inside the castle, and even check out a live jousting show!

It’s time to turn our full attention towards the biggest personal project participants will take on at GLA – their DREAM Project. Each participant creates their own unique DREAM project plan (no two are ever alike!) with the support of their leadership coaches every step of the way. Final preparations for the Community Fair take up the afternoon, and then participants can take time to prepare their acts – tonight’s the Talent Show!

In the morning participants learn about how to design and deliver a presentation confidently and clearly, and then get to work preparing to present their DREAM Project plan in a few days time. Then it’s time to set up for the Community Fair! After all that hard work planning and preparing, we welcome the community to help us raise money for a local charity the GLA group will choose.

Today’s focus is about how to engage in the process of collaboration through a variety of engaging small group activities and challenges. In groups based on shared passions or skills, participants will be asked to find a way to express their GLA experience and what they have learned. This piece should convey the complex idea of what leadership truly means… no small task given only several hours to accomplish.

This final day of the academy is dedicated to each participant’s DREAM project presentation. Every young leader will present their DREAM Project, with selected projects from each home group presenting in front of the whole GLA program that evening. As the sun starts to set, we host a special graduation celebration and dinner, and then finish the night off with music and dancing with our new lifelong friends from around the world. Just a warning – there’s always more than a few tears shed at the night ends!

Participants leave the academy but take with them all that they have learned, experienced and felt along the way. Transportation to Heathrow International Airport (LHR), London Stansted Airport (STN), or Cambridge Train Station is included and pre-arranged by the Powerful Youth team, and a travel meal will be provided. 


For students registered for the 4-week program (GLA + Best of England Tour), an exciting week of travel around England starts today!

Three weeks of summer camp isn’t enough? Want even more fun and exploring in England? Choose a 4-week package by adding the Best of England Tour!

What you will gain from the Global Leadership Academy

  • Join a Global Community

    Meet other talented young leaders from over 18+ countries

  • Provide Meaningful Service

    Complete 80+ Service Hours • Create and lead your own DREAM Service Project

  • Improve University Readiness

    Work Portfolio • Presentation Skills • Research and Planning

  • Discover and Learn New Passions

    Leadership Training Related to: Arts • Sports • Music • Theater • Dance • Film • Business • Service

  • Experience the Best of England!

    University campus tours • Rich History • Sightseeing • Exploring • Fun outdoor activities

2022 Dates and Tuition Costs


Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us! We would be happy to give you more information about our summer youth leadership programmes, answer any questions you may have, or help you make travel arrangements.