MLW programs give students the opportunity to have hands-on experience in the concepts and skills that prepare them for college or career.

- Lillian M. Lowery, former Ed.D, State Superintendent of Schools

Maryland Leadership Workshops is Maryland’s premier leadership development program for middle and high school students, and has provided generations of participants – who we call delegates – with an incomparable experience to discover and develop strengths and skills essential to lifelong leadership. Using the model of facilitative instruction, unique among youth leadership programs, delegates take ownership of personal development as they grow in self-awareness, set measurable goals, and collaborate with peers in diverse groups.

Whether students are already experienced leaders or still not sure what path to take, MLW helps them identify their strengths and gives each student the opportunity to develop new skills. Through a wide range of activities, delegates are exposed to new ideas, and get hands-on practice with useful skills.

Maryland Leadership Workshops receives support from the Maryland State Department of Education and, as such, deepens and enriches students understanding and adoption of Common Core Standards. As a Youth-Certified Camp through the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, all staff are screened through a criminal and child protective services background check process and are trained on emergency procedures.

“The benefits I have received from my experiences with MLW are too numerous and significant to put into words. Quite simply,it has helped me in every aspect of my life. Professionally,I use many of the skills I learned and developed at MLW on a daily basis. But more important to me,my involvement in MLW and the friendships I have that have now lasted,in some cases,for more than 20 years,have challenged me to remember to always reflect on how to be a better person and leader and to strive to make a genuine difference in my community and the lives of others.”

Chris Longmore, Partner, Dugan, McKissick, Wood & Longmore, LLC

“It goes to the heart of who I am and who I became.”

Joel Goodman, Founder of The HUMOR Project

“The skills that were learned during those summers at MLW,turned out to be skills that I use in my position as an elected official. I would love to go back and look at the curriculum that existed when I went through the program. I guarantee you every skill that I use,is one that I learned back then.”

Cathy Vitale, Member, House of Delegates and former Anne Arundel County Councilmember

“MLW gave me the foundations –and enhanced my core beliefs. The program also allowed me to practice these foundational techniques in a safe space that helped me grow. I am a values driven leader and I was forced to examine my own beliefs and mindsets.”

Michelle Culver, Vice President of Regional Operations, Teach for America

“My experiences on the staff of MLW have more to do with my success in business than any other single factor. My ability to lead teams,communicate effectively and create a compelling vision of the future are all directly related to those early experiences.”

Ray Sachetti, Senior Vice President of Virology for Bristol-Myers Squibb

“MLW is one of the best investments I’ve made in my son’s education. His growth through MLW was remarkable.”

Parent of MSEL participant

“MLW has been an amazing experience. At first I thought that I would not meet anybody new, but within a few hours I met amazing people. I have built such close relationship with some people and learned so many things about being an effective leader. Thank you so much for this great experience.”

SHW delegate

History of Maryland Leadership Workshops

Maryland Leadership Workshops, Inc. was founded in 1955 by Felix Simon, a beloved guidance counselor in Baltimore County Public Schools, in order to provide young people with the skills and experience they needed to be successful in school and in their community. Early on, MLW adopted a unique peer-led approach to learning that is still the foundation of our work. Today, MLW is a 501(c)( 3) not-for-profit educational organization that builds on our long and strong tradition of providing leadership development training programs to Maryland middle and high school students for success in school and life.

During the six decades since the organization has been in operation, more than 15,000 students have graduated from MLW’s residential programs and thousands more have attended MLW Community Outreach Programs. Many continued their involvement with MLW and became MLW staff. These alumni staff and former delegates pursue a full range of careers as varied as education, medicine, journalism, theater, law and management. When asked, many say that MLW was a critical factor with respect to their personal leadership development and their success in all aspects of their lives and communities.

Learn more about our programs