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 The Leadership Institute

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SVA's Leadership Institute is sponsored by Prudential and is the premier foundational leadership experience in the country for student veterans. It brings together the nation’s high-achieving Chapter Leaders for a multi-day, values based, leadership immersion program.


The concept behind the Leadership Institute is that long-term leadership success comes from an intimate knowledge of one’s core values and how they inform one’s leadership ethos. Attendees are mentored through this experience by some of the nation’s top leaders, business minds, and veterans’ advocates.


SVA will cover the cost of travel, lodging, and meals for all attendees.


When you leave the Leadership Institute you will:


  • Know your most impactful personal value set much better.
  • Have a significantly increased understanding of how your personal values directly support and reinforce your leadership ethos.
  • Have a defined personal leadership vision that directly supports the "why" behind your ethos.
  • Have a defined action plan to see your vision come to fruition.
  • Have an established and ongoing support and follow-up framework to ensure you can communicate with your fellow attendees, facilitators, and thought leaders as necessary.
  • The Leadership Institute will identify, teach, and mentor student veterans who are destined to lead America in the 21st century.


Ideal Applicant
An ideal applicant to the Leadership Institute:


  • Is a Leader in an active SVA Chapter identified through SVA's Chapter Directory with a strong preference towards those who currently hold an elected chapter position (i.e. President, Vice President, etc.)
  • Has a Propensity for Learning – The applicant is a dedicated life-long learner who recognizes the need to sharpen their skills in not only in leadership but all walks of life.
  • Is Open to New ideas – The applicant is receptive to discussing and adopting new concepts and leadership philosophies, even when they may challenge their own.
  • Values Collaboration – The applicant believes strongly in working as a member of a team and adopting a mentality which is conducive to collaboration and sharing of responsibility.


What You Can Expect When Applying
When going through the application process, there are three key items that you should take note of including:


  • A Video Submission - We will ask you to submit a video that's less than a minute in length to describe your journey into higher education and why you should be considered to attend the 2018 Leadership Institute.
  • Only links to videos will be accepted. YouTube and Vimeo are two examples of platforms that will create links for you upon uploading to their sites. 
  • Your LinkedIn Profile - LinkedIn is a critical platform to establish your professional identity, especially as a Chapter Leader. SVA will be heavily evaluating candidates for future programs, including the Leadership Institute, by the strength of their professional and leadership experience as it's reflected on their LinkedIn profile. Follow this example of accurately showcasing your Chapter Leadership experience on your LinkedIn profile.
  • An Essay – You'll be asked to describe your higher education journey and more in a brief essay in the application.


For questions or concerns with the application process please call us at (202) 223 – 4710 Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



President George W. Bush (centered front row) pictured with the Leadership Institute Class of 2017, mentors, and staff.


What to Expect After You Apply


  • Once the application for the Leadership Institute closes on July 31, 2018, the Selection Committee will work diligently to carefully evaluate each application.
  • You will be notified by email of your application status by August 31, 2018.
  • Those accepted to attend the Leadership Institute will receive an overview of the curriculum, pre-Leadership Institute assignments, as well as follow up instructions related to the event's code of conduct, and information related to travel and lodging.


If you have any questions, comments or concerns during this process please direct all inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Leadership Institute Class of 2017 pictured with mentors and staff after finishing a service project in Dallas, Texas.


At the 2018 Leadership Institute You Will
At the Leadership Institute you and your fellow attendees will experience world class leadership training. Engaging directly with fellow SVA Chapter Leaders, mentors, SVA staff, and special guests you can expect to:


  • Connect with the community via a local service project. Be sure to bring clothes and shoes you can get dirty!
  • Have a roommate by sharing a hotel room with a fellow attendee.
  • Enjoy some of Washington D.C.'s historic sites.
  • Learn and grow personally and professionally in an intensive and collaborate classroom environment. You will leave feeling exhausted and empowered.
  • Collaborate with a group of highly motivated servant leaders dedicated to building and strengthening communities of student veterans on campuses around the country.
  • Build lasting connections with your peers. The shared passion and dedication of you and your fellow attendees creates relationships that far exceed our three-day event. Every year our cohort of LI attendees creates bonds with one another that last a lifetime.





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