Global Youth Leadership Camp

Universities and workplaces are pushing for young Americans to expand their horizons beyond our borders.

The U.S. Department of State and Northern Illinois University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies are vitally interested in preparing young leaders worldwide to confront emerging global issues.

You are invited to apply for the Global Youth Leadership Camp, May 3-12, 2024. This is a free opportunity for selected Illinois high school students to work alongside their peers from 10 Southeast Asian countries, learn about diverse cultures, build lasting friendships, discover nonprofit organizations, represent the U.S. and visit Washington, D.C.


To participate in this program, you must:

  • Be 15-17 years old.
  • Live in northern Illinois or the Chicagoland area.
  • Be interested in leadership and civic engagement.
  • Attend a two-hour program orientation.

Evaluation Criteria

We are seeking 15 young people who:

  • Demonstrate leadership in their school or community.
  • Engage in community service.
  • Are interested in sharing and learning with international peers.
  • Show creativity, civic engagement, ambition and an ability to collaborate.

How to Apply

  • Complete the application or email us and ask for a printed copy that we will mail to you.
  • Provide a high school transcript.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation (also online).
  • Write a one-page essay on a cause you are passionate about and why.

All materials must be received by March 1, 2024

Materials may be submitted online or mailed to:

520 College View Court
DeKalb, IL 60115

For questions call us at 815-753-6956 or email

Administrative Director

Jordan York