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Emerging Leaders in Service

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step . . . “

The Division of Student Affairs and the Stubblefield Institute’s ListenLearnEngage Initiative invite you to kickstart your Shepherd experience by participating in Emerging Leaders in Service, Shepherd’s experiential  leadership and service program from August 16-18.    

Based on the Social Change Model of leadership development, Emerging Leaders in Service (ELS) allows new first-year and transfer students to make connections, strengthen your leadership skills, and engage in community service both on and off campus prior to the beginning of your first semester.

Participating students will have the opportunity to:

While the actual expense of the Emerging Leaders in Service summer leadership program is $200 per student, thanks to the generous support of the Stubblefield Institute’s ListenLearnEngage Initiative, the fee for any participant who registers prior to July 31 will be just $50.  This fee covers all activities, meals during the program, and supplies.  Residential students will move in early at no additional charge. This program is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications at Shepherd University which works with students to develop motivation, skills, and confidence to participate in civic engagement in ways that move through division into connection and understanding. 


Registration is open to the first 50 new, incoming undergraduate students. Spaces are limited and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

ELS Registration Form


* Plan to be engaged from 9 am until 9 pm. Schedule is subject to change.

Tuesday, August 16

Morning     |  Residential students move into Residence Halls between 10 am – Noon
Lunch/Noon    |  Commuter students check in and Program begins
Afternoon   |   Introduction to Leadership and Service
Evening   |   Teambuilding and Leadership Styles Workshops

Wednesday, August 17

All Day   |   Participation in Day of Service and reflections
Evening   |   Social Event

Thursday, August 18

Morning  |   Serve as Welcome Ambassadors assisting New Student Move-In
Afternoon   |   Leadership Training Workshops, Reflection, and Awards
Evening   |   Social Event

Follow the Links Below to See the Fun Previous Students Had!



Who can participate?
Any incoming undergraduate student, both commuters and residential students, are encouraged to register for the program. Residential students will have the opportunity to move into their residence hall on August 16. Commuter students will be included in all meals, social experiences, and workshops.

Do I need to have prior leadership experience?
No prior leadership experience is required. Shepherd is committed to fostering great leaders and citizens who serve both our campus and the greater community. This program allows new students to take the leap into leadership by participating in fun, interactive workshops, and meaningful service experiences. Social components are also included to help students develop friendships right away.

Can I work or have other outside commitments during the program?
We have packed the schedule with amazing opportunities for learning and service.  All students participating in the program are expected to commit fully to the entire program.  That means there will be no time for outside jobs or commitments other than pre-approved health care appointments during the program.  If you have questions about this, please email  Unfortunately, students involved in fall sports or band camp will not be able to participate in ELS since those are also fully immersive experiences as well.

What kind of service will we be doing?
At Shepherd, community service is the norm, not the exception. Our students contribute thousands of hours of service within our community. This is your chance to see why our students love it.  Led by Shepherd faculty and staff as well as returning student mentors, teams will contribute six hours of service to a non-profit organization in our local community. This day is always a student favorite!

Do I need to bring anything?
All students are expected to bring closed toe shoes and clothing that can get dirty during service projects as well as a water bottle.

What if I register and have to cancel due to an extenuating circumstance?
We understand that life takes unexpected turns. ELS program participants who do not have an approved extenuating circumstance and/or cancel after July 31 will be charged the $50 program fee. If it is necessary to cancel, participants should email (use Subj: ELS Cancellation). Examples of approved extenuating circumstances are personal illness, required isolation due to COVID, funeral, emergency, or the inability to attend Shepherd in fall 2022. The following situations are not extenuating: getting called into work, taking a vacation, etc.

ELS Program Waiver