The application window for the winter 2020 Student Leadership Program in National Security is now open. Click here to apply.


Embolden’s Student Leadership Program (SLP) is a tuition-free career immersion and leadership program that helps high school students explore and discover their passions, and prepares them to become the next generation of leaders.


The winter 2020 SLP in National Security and Intelligence introduces students to diverse career opportunities in national security policy decision-making, intelligence analysis, and intelligence operations. While the program primarily focuses on the “hard” elements of security within the U.S. government and international organizations, it also aims to provide students with the negotiation, critical thinking, written, and oral presentation skills they need to succeed in other international affairs career fields, including management consulting, international development, non-profits, private sector firms, and international law.


Students play hands-on roles as entry-level intelligence analysts in the program’s flagship intelligence analysis simulation. In this simulation, students must review a vast amount of fictional intelligence documents, share information, think critically, and work collaboratively to produce a final, written product for the President which analyzes a critical national security threat to the United States. The program also features a separate policy decision-making simulation, coupled with site visits to the Department of State, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the White House’s National Security Council. Finally, students will take part in an interactive intelligence operations simulation where they must use real operational tradecraft (i.e. dead drops, surveillance, and countersurveillance) to succeed as case officers in a fictional foreign country.


All three simulations will challenge students to lead, think critically, and work as a team to address national security problems that resemble the challenges real intelligence officers and policymakers grapple with on a daily basis. Additionally, students will be exposed to the very basics of real intelligence analysis tradecraft pursuant to Intelligence Community Directive 203, which will significantly enhance their logical reasoning and writing skills in preparation for college and beyond.


At the end of the Program, students will leave with a growing community of friends and mentors, greater confidence in exploring and pursuing their passions, and insights into what it really takes to succeed in the national security enterprise.

Program Dates and Location

Winter 2020 in Washington, D.C. Students are expected to participate for the full duration of the program. 

How to Apply

High school students who reside in Northern Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C. are encouraged to apply for the winter 2020 SLP in National Security and Intelligence. Eligible students must apply via the online application and are required to submit one form of documentation verifying high school enrollment such as a school transcript. There are no application fees nor are there any minimum GPA or test score requirements for selection to the program. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the available spots are filled. 


The most important component of the application is the free-response essay section. While students are encouraged to submit supplemental materials such as test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT), resumes, or letters of recommendation (counselors, teachers, coaches, etc), Embolden's application readers are most interested in hearing about your story! If you have personal accomplishments you want to share with us, please do! However, rather than what you achieved, we want to know your journey: the obstacles you might have faced and learned to overcome, the people who have helped you along the way, your emotional journey, what you've learned and/or what motivates you. We want to know your personal story because we firmly believe that everyone's story has immense value. 

If you have any questions on the application or the SLP in National Security and Intelligence, please reach out to info@emboldenme.org and a member of the team will be in touch!

© 2019 by Embolden, Inc.  

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