Discover what's happening in LI

  • About Us

    Our Mission

    LI is a non-profit organization that provides hands-on, character-based, measurable leadership training and development to children and youth. Our mission is to provide an interactive, fun and safe environment in which children and youth learn leadership skills necessary to be agents of change that impact our community with excellence and integrity.

    How We Got Started

    The Challenge

    One of the greater challenges of our times is a shortage of character-driven effective leaders. These challenges are visible across all industries. In business, many accomplished persons have challenges in interpersonal relationships. In sports, some of the greater athletes are also drug users. In government, we have many politicians, but very few statesmen. Character-based leadership training is needed, and we need to start with the young.

    While there are many great leadership programs, too often they are reactionary and not enough of them focus on youth. When there are leadership programs for youth, the activities rarely have real measurable results. The youth learn a few things about leadership and have fun, but are not really prepared to take up "the invisible gavel of leadership" through their next stages of life.

    What We Do

    Our Solution to the Challenge

    Our solution to the lack of character based leadership and low standard of excellence that plagues every industry that touches our lives is to create a place where students thrive. A place where students begin to see themselves in relation to others; a place where students learn about themselves and how to positively relate to people and places different from their own experience; a place where students commit to a life of moral character and integrity; a place where students are motivated to work hard and succeed in order to make our world a better place. When students thrive, they change the world.

  • Our Board And CEO

    John Mumford

    Chairman of the Board

    John Mumford is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy of West Point, NY. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe for three years, for two tours of duty in Vietnam - first as and Advisor to the Army of South Vietnam and an Area Engineer and later as Management officer for the 143 bases and camps occupied by U.S. Forces. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with the Oak Leaf Cluster, and numerous other medals.


    John was appointed Project Administrator for the construction of Walt Disney World in Florida, was Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of Labor and has assisted more than 100 public and private clients.


    John received and MBA from Harvard University.

    Nathean Meadows

    Board Member

    Spending over 10 years of his working career operating and supervising various sports programs and sports retail entities in the UK, Nathean developed a love for serving others and seeing other fulfill their goals through recreational activities.


    For 20 summers, Nathean worked as camp counselor, Head Counselor, Assistant Director and Executive Director of Camp Sonshine, one of the nation's largest christian day camps, as well as, the favorite camp for thousands of children and teens of Montgomery, Howard and Prince George counties, to attend each summer. To date, Nathean is still passionate about the mission of Camp of "creating fun memories where children and youth experience God's love."


    After serving at Camps Sonshine, Nathean stepped into a new role of IT&Network Services to pursue his passion in technology.


    Nathean is an avid sports fan and especially enjoys long-distance running in addition to his first love of playing and coaching soccer. Nathean is a nationally certified soccer and basketball coach in the UK and United States.


    This passion for sports has opened up opportunities of international missions work using soccer as a tool to reach the young people of poverty stricken nations such as Mongolia and Bolivia.


    Nathean is the proud father of Isaiah Kai who brightens each moment with his infectious attitude, sweet spirit and fun-loving demeanor.



    Stephanie Clark

    Chief Executive Officer

    Stephanie Clark, the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Leaders Institute, began her work in youth development at Howard University to obtaining a B.S in child development and M.S. in Program Management from the University of Maryland, College Park.


    During her course of study, Stephanie discovered the fundamental difference between people who do great things and people who don't. People who do great things think they can. Being the cognitive behavior theorist that she is, Stephanie, along with her husband Bruce, founded the Leaders Institute with the thought "If I can teach and empower kids to do great things early, they will rise to the occasion and change the world." Stephanie did not stop there, she went even further with the thought, "...and if I can teach them the importance of doing the basics of loving God; telling the truth; keeping their word; being kind; caring for themselves; caring for others; and doing those things the very best way that they can, this world would be a better place."

  • What We Offer

    What Students Learn

    Whether enrolled in a 12 session course, attending a leadership training workshop, or in one of our specialty programs, students learn:

    • The power of their capacity to change the world.
    • Ethical practices in demand by leading Colleges, Universities and Fortune 500 Companies in the nation.
    • Elements of personal and professional etiquette.
    • Project/program planning and execution skills.
    • Project and team management skills.

    Types of Programs We Offer



    Quarterly Courses



    School Clubs



  • Our Partners

    Non Profits

    We partner with other youth serving non-profits to bring quality programming to the under-served. Here at LI, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, physical or cognitive challenges, a student who wants to better themselves and the world around them deserves the opportunity and training to do just that. To date, our non-profit partners are;

    • YMCA Youth and Family Services;
    • Latin American Youth Center.

    To become a non-profit partner, click here. We are Leaders Institute, empowering change agents to impact their community with excellence and relevance.


    We partner with schools and Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) to facilitate student driven leadership clubs to develop the skills and community engagement that colleges and leading corporations look for. Current school partners are:

    • Bethesda - Chevy Chase High School

    To become a school partner, click here. We are Leaders Institute, empowering change agents to impact their community with excellence and relevance.


    We believe that effective change occurs from the inside out. We host courses within churches, neighborhood recreation and community centers giving families convenient access to leadership development for their student.


    For our faith community partners, we offer faith-based leadership training for youth through our Godly Leadership School. To view our current course offerings and locations, click here.


    To bring a course to your church or community, click here. We are Leaders Institute, empowering change agents to impact their community with excellence and relevance.


    Businesses look for leadership qualities they can trust. We work with local corporations to design student internships that boost student resumes, while providing early access to promising recruits. To become a business partner, click here. We are Leaders Institute, empowering change agents to impact their community with excellence and relevance.

  • Events, Blogs, News & Social Media

    Take a look at what's trending in youth leadership!

  • Social Media

    Check out our latest updates!

  • Here's what people are saying about us.


    Note: For safety reasons, names of our students are not included.

    "I never thought leadership training could be so much fun! From business etiquette training, to public speaking, project planning and so much more. Who knew I would get all that and still have fun.”


    “Before LI, I never would have imagined leading a project that helped provide over 5,000 tons of food for children and families in need.”


    “As a result of being enrolled in LI, my resume is stacked with accomplishments going into college.”


    “Being able to use LI to vouch for my character and community impact activities for college recommendations definitely helped me obtain a few scholarships.”



    "Thank you for all of your guidance and support for my daughter." 

    Nha Vo


    "When it comes to promoting LI, it's personal. Both of my children have developed into kind and compassionate leaders right before my very eyes."

    Sharon Bryant Zimmerman



    "You do great work with the students. It is a great program."

    Assistant Principal Sharif Robinson


    "We have been so fortunate to have you as a partner over the past few years and will be working to secure funding for future collaboration." 

    Jacob Newman LAYC/MMYC


    "They (the students) enjoyed it. Staff felt that what you taught and reviewed with the students was applicable and contained information that could be used immediately in working with their capstones."

    Marhonda Williams, Montgomery County Recreation Department

  • Join Our Team

    We'd love to have you a part of our team. Together, we are better, bigger, stronger!

    Become a Partner or Sponsor

    Be it on a personal or professional basis, the lack of character-driven leadership affects us all. Our solution, character-based leadership training starting with the young. On behalf of the Advisory Board and CEO of the Leaders Institute, we invite you to become a sponsor to develop leaders who uphold a standard of leadership that our nation can trust. We cannot do it alone. We welcome both individual and corporate partners to come along side of us. Together, we are bigger, better and stronger.

    • To become an individual sponsor, click here.
    • To become a corporate partner, click here.

    Become an Intern 

    Are you passionate about working with children and youth? Are you a business, marketing, sociology, education or youth development major? Do you like to have fun while impacting the community? Leaders Institute may be the place for you!


    Here at the Leaders Institute, interns are considered management staff. While interning with us, you gain:

    • management skills that will cause you to excel in other areas of business;
    • business experience as you make lasting connections with professional in variety of spheres of influence;
    • marketing and public relations experience as you promote and maintain our organization's platform;
    • sociology experience as you engage in firsthand community development and assessments;
    • education experience as you develop and execute a curriculum to meet program goals; and
    • strategic planning experience to ensure mission outcomes and long term sustainability.
    Sounds like a place you would like to be, click here to fill out an application or email us at info@leadersinstitutemd.org for questions or to submit your cover letter and resume.


  • Contact Us

    Don't be afraid to reach out. You + us = awesome.

    7201 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. #440
    Bethesda, MD 20814
  • Lazarus Leadership Fellows Program

    Tomorrow's leaders changing the world today!

    About the Lazarus Leadership Fellows Program

    The Lazarus Leadership Fellows Program is named in honor of Julius and Dorothy Lazarus in recognition of their years of service to the children of the Bethesda area. The program is made possible by the generous financial support provided by the Lazarus Foundation and community partners to help prepare 15 high school sophomores and juniors for their citizen leadership responsibilities each year. Since 1997, the Lazarus Fellows have completed more than 60,000 hours of community service.


    Interested applicants should apply by the first week in January. The program is in session from February to September of each year. Fellows are selected on the basis of demonstrated academic ability and service to the community. The most important part of the selection process is an essay describing an issue about which the applicant feels passionately enough to devote 200 hours of community service during the summer. The selection committee is made up of business and civic leaders, parents, teachers and former Lazarus Fellows.


    For more information or interested in applying, contact us.

  • Hello and Welcome to LI International

    Do something awesome! Travel with purpose! Become a part of the student leadership team that wants to be in the forefront of seeking lasting solutions to critical global issues. Join us at LI International.



    Who We Are

    LI International is the international arm of the Leaders Institute where students develop leadership skills through the design and implementation of community impact projects around the world. As a result, student leaders develop a deeper understanding of the world and discover their ability to create meaningful impact.


    Our Commitment

    Our commitment is to connect you with exceptional educators, who are deeply committed to providing learning experiences that are culturally sensitive, ethically sound and transformative. We are committed to fostering an environment that seeks answers to critical questions about ourselves and the world as a platform for powerful learning.


    The LI International Experience

    Travel, learn and work with an exceptional group of student leaders and program staff to enhance international understanding and foster friendships through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities. Through the exchange of ideas and experiences with people of different countries and diverse cultures, you will not only see the world, but will be an active force in creating and sustaining positive impact globally.


    Cultural Immersion

    LI International@Moldova features homestays, sightseeing, local eats and community engagement. By hosting a leadership camp, LI@Moldova students foster an appreciation for diversity and an understanding of complex global issues affecting the local community.


    Types of Students We Are Looking For

    Leadership is being extraordinary, so we’re looking for not-so-ordinary leaders to join us. Do you believe that a true educational travel experience is more than just seeing tourist sites? Do you want to be immersed in a new culture and connect with new people? If you answered yes, then you’re our type of student leader.


    What to Expect

    We want you to have a life-changing experience in Moldova. To help facilitate that experience, here is what you can expect when you become a part of our phenomenal student leadership team.

    • Cultural sensitivity training to learn to communicate across language barriers and effectively immerse yourself in a new culture.
    • Health & safety training.
    • Team building exercises to unite your group.
    • Project planning sessions.
    • Homestays, sightseeing, local eats and community engagement in Moldova. 
    • A success adviser to be your support and personal cheerleader every step of the way.

    Group Size

    For the optimal International experience, group sizes consists of 10 to 15 students with a 1:5 staff to student ratio.



    We are deeply committed to ensure the LI International experience is accessible to all students regardless of financial need. As a youth leadership development and training organization, we raise funds to provide need-based scholarships whenever possible.



    We understand that the cost may be a bit steep, so we encourage fundraising in order to raise money. Once accepted, your Success Adviser will provide fundraising ideas and options to help you along the way.


    Interested and want more information about our next adventure, email us at info@leadersinstitutemd.org or call 301.655.9679. We are here for you.

  • Godly Leadership School at LI

    Where youth development and marketplace excellence training unites with godly principles.


    About the Godly Leadership School at the Leaders Institute


    Here at the Godly Leadership School at the Leaders Institute (LI), we provide a transformative encounter where youth development and marketplace excellence training unites with godly principles. The result is more than a simple exchange; it is students having an encounter with God that enables them to live out principles which transform their lives, their spheres of influence and their marketplace. Our ultimate aim is to perpetuate a brand of leadership that reflects the Kingdom of God, that transforms lives and industries through godly leaders. Godly leaders make the world a better place.


    Our Curriculum

    Our curriculum is built around four core competencies of godly leadership

    • The study of mankind: The relationship between God and humanity.

    • The Art of Self-Control: The value of discipline.

    • Fit to lead: Taking care of our mind, soul and body to function our best for God.

    • Character Counts: Attributes of a godly leader.


    Our Programs

    Chapel: Weekly youth gatherings for Middle and High schoolers where students encounter God on their own terms through bible study, worship in song and biblical teaching on their level. Meets Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.


    Leadership Classes

    Weekly classes teaching godly leadership principles applied to personal growth/development, marketplace excellence, community impact and engagement in a way that is FUN, engaging, energetic and relevant to varying age groups. Meets Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.


    Mentoring Groups

    Monthly meetings for 3rd graders and up, where students hang out with assigned mentors (assigned by age group and gender) in a relaxed environment of fun that fosters candid conversations about managing life with God in today’s world. Group “kickbacks” meet the last Sunday of each month at 12:30


    Job Shadowing Sunday/Family Sunday

    Monthly, students are assigned to shadow team leaders in charge of various aspects of a church service. As part of the Job Shadowing program, students are required to attend “Chat and Chew” sessions (held after main service, and on the day of their shadowing assignment). While eating delicious snacks, students discuss ways they can apply the sermon to their lives. Job Shadowing Sunday occurs the last Sunday of each month and takes place during main service.


    Performing Arts

    Monthly, students are tasked with writing and producing original productions that are performed at least twice a year. The Performing Arts program is a part of the Leadership classes and meets the 1st Sunday of each month at 10:45.



    Interested students in grades 7th or higher, have the opportunity to enroll in a more extensive management program where they can apply leadership skills to manage other students. JTeam students are considered Junior Leaders of LI and are responsible for initiating and managing one community impact project. Jteam meetings are held once a month after



    COAP (Coming of Age Program)

    The COAP is LI’s rites of passage program available to students 12 years of age and up. Meeting dates and times are dependent on interest and enrollment.


    Our Staff

    We strive to create a sense of community that is accepting and welcoming to all. We are committed to providing a place for students to question, explore and dive deeper into our faith with peers and positive adult role models who can walk that journey of faith with each student.


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