Dominican Leadership Service Expedition: Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders

Welcome to the Dominican Leadership Service Expedition: Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders – a life-changing 12-day journey of leadership, service, and cultural immersion in the beautiful Dominican Republic!

Highly Selective Application Process:

Our program is a unique opportunity for students who are rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders who are committed to making a positive impact on the world. With only 25 spots available, our selection process is highly competitive. Applicants are required to submit an essay outlining their leadership aspirations, transcripts, and a teacher recommendation to be considered.

A Comprehensive Journey:

Our program is different from the typical service trip. Being accepted into this program is for unique and talented students who want to make an ongoing partnership with a community in which children live in extreme poverty. Our program doesn’t end with the 12-day trip; it’s just the beginning. Over the four months following the trip, students will meet twice each month virtually, dedicating 8 hours of class time and continuing to engage and impact the Dominican community. They will raise money for a locally-defined sustainability goal, and they will be a part of a team making a real, ongoing partnership. Successful completion of the program will earn students a Leadership in Global Service Award from ILI Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting global service and leadership. Our leadership development is anchored in the same goals as the MIT Leadership Development curriculum.

student created video from a previous trip

Locally-Defined Sustainability Goals and Fair Trade Wages:

We believe in the power of locally-defined sustainability goals. Our program is built upon partnerships with local leaders in the Dominican Republic, and our work is rooted in these goals, aligned with the UN Goals for Sustainable Development. Throughout your journey, you’ll actively contribute to achieving these vital sustainability targets. We also pay fair trade wages to our Dominican workers, guaranteeing a program that is not just ethical and moral but also guarantees that we are an employer-of-choice in the Dominican Republic.

Daily Reflections and Guided Learning:

Each day, we engage in reflective discussions, exploring our experiences, locally-defined sustainability goals, and the broader UN goals. These reflections are co-facilitated by our bilingual Dominican Tour Director and our American Group Leader. This multicultural facilitation ensures that our reflections are not solely rooted in an American gaze.

Safety and Support:

The safety of our children is our number one priority. Our Dominican Tour Director and bus driver accompany us 24/7, providing bilingual assistance in case of emergencies.

Community Enrichment and Impact:

We’re more than just visitors; we’re active contributors. Our group is partnering with a Dominican school. During the trip, we provide an enrichment summer camp for elementary-aged Dominican children, and our post-trip efforts continue to prioritize the needs and goals of our local friends and leaders in the Dominican Republic.

Customized Leadership Development:

Your journey with us is tailored to your interests and goals. Whether you aspire to be a doctor, artist, teacher, or something else, we’ll work hard to connect you with local professionals and opportunities to align with your aspirations.

Join us for this incredible leadership and service learning adventure in the Dominican Republic like none other, and together, we’ll shape a brighter tomorrow. Apply now and be part of a select group of future leaders making a lasting impact!

How to Apply:

This inaugural program is highly selective. Application fee of $50. Priority deadline: Applications are due by January 28, 2024. Rolling admissions thereafter based on availability.

The following is required for applicants:

  • Complete our application
  • Upload transcript
  • Provide a teacher recommendation
  • Parents complete trip paperwork
  • Complete an essay of 450-650 words using one of the following prompts:

1. This program involves leadership, collaboration, and teamwork. Share an example of a time you worked effectively within a team to achieve a common goal, and how you believe this experience will prepare you for this trip and year-long program.

2. Cultural diversity is a significant aspect of this program. Describe a situation where you had to adapt to a new cultural environment, and what did you learn from it that will help you navigate cultural differences during the trip?

3. This program seeks students with diverse career aspirations. Describe your long-term career goals and how this program aligns with your aspirations. How will the experiences gained here contribute to your future endeavors?

Accepted students: families will have ten business days after their notification of acceptance for a $500 non-refundable deposit. The balance will be split between two payments due March 1 and May 1, 2024.

Apply Now

Departure Date

June 25, 2024 (the departure date can move two days in either direction depending on hotel availability, flight availability, etc).

Program Inclusions and Cost

Total cost for this all-inclusive leadership program is $6,425. Included in this differentiated program for your child is accommodations, meals in the Dominican Republic, airfare (our group will depart from JFK or Newark), ground transportation in the Dominican Republic, leadership training and development, historical and cultural tours, full-time bilingual Dominican Tour Director, American group leaders, sustainable service project with a local organization, ongoing program, gratuities for Dominican staff, and Leadership in Global Service Program.

Not included is spending money and food at the airports.