Believe it or not, tuition only covers approximately 2/3 the cost of the program. MLW works with the Maryland State Department of Education, foundations and corporations and individual donors to subsidize the costs for every student. Nevertheless, we still have to charge a tuition that covers room and board, staff, materials, insurance and certification. As part of the tuition, students receive a t-shirt, resource materials and a Leadership Certificate after successful completion of the program.

MLW has a limited scholarship fund and places priority on low-income, first-time participants. Scholarship applicants must first complete the on-line registration form, including payment of a $25 deposit, then contact the office at to request a scholarship application.

The maximum award is 75%. Applicants are encouraged to explore additional funding sources to help defray tuition costs. Other potential sources of scholarships include: Local Management Boards, Student Government Associations, PTAs, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, JayCees, Optimist Clubs, local businesses and other community organizations.

  • Be able to live away from home for a week and share living space (sleeping quarters and bathroom) with others.
  • Be open to learning amazing things about themselves and their own unique strengths.
  • Be open to and respectful of learning about others, especially those whose backgrounds, lifestyles, and beliefs may be different from their own.
  • Be open to sharing about themselves and their own values.
  • Be willing to actively engage and participate in all activities, as we know from experience that delegates learn as much from each other as they do from our staff.
  • Be responsible for their own hygiene.
  • Be responsible for hanging on to their own materials such as their room key/campus card, delegate guidebook, and pen.
  • Be physically able to walk across campus (10 minutes one-way) several times a day in the heat of the summer. Campus is wheelchair/ADA accessible.

Students who attend MLW are referred to as ‘delegates’. There is no “typical” MLW delegate, however, most are eager to learn about leadership and how they can make an impact in their school and/or community. There are students active in community groups, band, SGA, sports teams, chess clubs, National Honor Society, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Some students have not yet had the opportunity to take on leadership positions but have interest in developing their own skill set.

The staff members have worked very hard to ensure that MLW will be a safe place for your child. They will be very busy during the week and will be doing activities aimed at allowing them to become comfortable around all the new people they are meeting. There will also be free time in the schedule during which your child will be able to call home if he or she feels the need.

Each program is designed to work with a different age group and address topics appropriate to that age group. In this way, a child that attended MSEL would benefit from going to SHW the following year, as it would be a very different experience. Delegates can attend MSEL or SHW for a second year, if they feel as though they have more to learn or could benefit from attending the program again. Each year is slightly different, and your child may have the opportunity to learn or try something they did not get to the year before. If a SHW graduate is looking for a more challenging program, he or she should attend ALS (the Advanced Leadership Seminar).

There is no time in the schedule devoted to college preparation or how to fill out college applications. However, the skills learned and used at MLW are essential ones that will help the delegate prepare for the future.

Students can, in some cases, earn Student Service Learning hours for projects conducted while at MLW. Be sure to check with your SSL coordinator and get MLW pre-approved if you need to.

Because the students attending MLW are from all over the state, it would be logistically difficult to arrange a meeting. Instead, we hold an optional meeting for parents and guardians right after registration on the first day of each program.

All delegate activities are supervised by MLW’s watchful staff. Delegates travel to workshops in learning units of 25, which are escorted by two or more staff members. Because the staff stays in the same dorms as the delegates, you can be sure there will always be a staff member on-call to assist in any emergencies that should arise. In addition, the college has 24-hour campus security that regularly patrols the campus. Further, all dormitory buildings remain locked 24 hours a day such that only residents of the dormitories can access the buildings with their dormitory room keys.

MLW’s talented staff of young professionals has varied leadership experience in education, business, government, youth services, college organizations, and secondary school student leadership groups. Many of our staff members attended MLW summer programs as delegates so they are very familiar with the goals of the organization. Staff is hired in the early spring and train from May through July to develop a customized and rigorous curriculum. All staff have completed various background checks, attend protocol and emergency preparation training, and many are trained in CPR and First Aid.

The food is provided by the college’s dining services. We are scheduled to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, and there are several options at each meal. The schedule also allots the delegates with enough time to get 8 hours of sleep a night.

Technically, they do not need to bring extra money since all meals are covered in the cost of the week. However, they might need some money to give to the office in case they forgot an essential item at home. MLW also sells merchandise such as water bottles and hats. The amount of money a delegate needs will depend on how much he or she intends on spending during the week.

Delegates receive a certificate upon completion of the program. Additionally, in the winter (usually in January), MLW holds a delegate reunion during which the delegates have the chance to re-connect with other delegates, as well as follow-up with the staff members about how they have applied the skills they learned during the summer.

After attending MLW, parents report that their children:

  • exhibit better time management and organizational skills
  • are more self-sufficient and confident
  • are more open to new opportunities and diverse people
  • are more assertive in advocating for themselves and others
  • take more responsibility, have more initiative, and are better able to set boundaries

To ensure your child’s place in our summer programs, all application forms and full payment of fees must be submitted to MLW by May 15. For more information on our application process, please visit our registration page.