The Central Ohio Leadership Academy is taking student applications for the 2014 session. The COLA announcement includes details on a new curriculum partnership with the Ohio State University Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program:

The Central Ohio Leadership Academy (COLA), established in 2011 by the New Albany Community Foundation and presented by the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, is the preeminent leadership development experience for rising high school seniors in central Ohio. COLA contributes to building a strong pipeline of effective community leaders by positioning our most promising young people for greater success. During the intensive six-day COLA experience, students develop their leadership effectiveness by participating in professionally facilitated training sessions, interactive team challenges, and substantial discussions with peers and proven community leaders. Since its inception, COLA has graduated more than 100 students whose lives were significantly impacted by this weeklong endeavor that includes exploring and analyzing the following topics:

Personal leadership and individual strengths

Collaboration and teamwork Ethical and value based decision-making Community impact Visioning and goal setting

Through a competitive application process, 45 students will be selected for the 2014 academy representing a balance of urban, suburban, and rural districts as well as public, private, and charter schools.

The 2014 Central Ohio Leadership Academy will take place on the main campus of The Ohio State University, Monday, June 16 through Saturday, June 21 from 8:00am - 4:00pm. Students interested in applying must complete an online application and submit one letter of recommendation by Friday, April 18th. To learn more about the program and the application process, visit our website at COLA's $1,700 student tuition is made free of charge to all students because of the program support provided by our sponsors Jeff and Christine Rodek, the Easton Community Foundation, and the New Albany Community Foundation.

In 2012, the New Albany Community Foundation designated COLA participants as the Central Ohio Leadership Academy Robert H. Schottenstein Fellows in honor of Robert Schottenstein, Chairman and CEO of M/I Homes, who has been particularly supportive of the program and participated as a speaker each year since the program began.

"Five years ago this type of leadership program didn't exist," said Robert Schottenstein. "The fact that high school students are even thinking about leadership at their age puts them light years ahead. These students entered into the program with a curious mind and came to realize what a difference one person can make in the lives of others. The enthusiasm is touching."

Numerous community leaders have participated in discussions with the students of COLA since it began three years ago in addition to Mr. Schottenstein. Past speakers include Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Yvette McGee Brown; Past Chairman of Chrysler Group, C. Robert Kidder; United States District Judge, Algenon Marbley; Columbus Metropolitan Library CEO, Patrick Losinski; Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland Council Inc. CEO, Tammy Wharton; and CEO of The Columbus Foundation, Doug Kridler.

This year, COLA is proud to announce that the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio has taken on the program's administrative responsibilities as its presenting partner. "ESC is the perfect partner for COLA," said Program Director Jordan Davis. "Tom Goodney and his team of experienced educational leaders and service providers will nurture the continued growth of COLA allowing us to expand our impact in central Ohio." Additionally, the program has strengthened its content delivery capacity by entering into a formal curriculum partnership with The Ohio State University's Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program (BLF) in the Office of Student Life.