2019 COLA Program

The Central Ohio Leadership Academy is looking to accept students eager to learn and cultivate their own leadership skills. Given the intensive experience, we are also looking for students who are committed and open to learning from peers, staff and guest leaders. Students with passion, ideas and a capacity to positively influence their schools and communities are encourage to apply.

Central Ohio high school juniors and seniors who will graduate in 2019 or 2020 are eligible to apply.

Program Dates & Hours

July 22nd to July 27th, 2019 at KIPP Columbus, Monday – Saturday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Students must be able to attend the program in its entirety to be eligible and participate in our COLA alumni experience. 

Program Cost

Selected students participate at no cost thanks to the generous support of The Columbus Foundation, The Easton Community Foundation and the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio. Materials and food are also at no cost to students.

Program Location

KIPP Columbus — 2900 Inspire Dr. Columbus, Ohio 43224

Eligibility Requirements

  • Attend a Central Ohio High School (public, private, and charter high schools are all eligible)
  • Be a rising high school upperclassman planning to graduate in 2020 or 2021
  • Be able to attend every day of the program from July 22-27th, 8am-4pm
  • Be willing to participate fully in the COLA Alumni experience

Ideal Applicants

  • Demonstrate notable leadership ability among peers
  • Pursue interests outside of the classroom
  • Are eager to learn and self-improve
  • Have an interest in becoming a more effective leader



I have enjoyed my experience at COLA so much. Thank you for for seeing the value in me so I could have this opportunity. All of the facilitators are amazing and listen to what you have to say and really encourage you to be the best you, you can be. I will remember this experience my whole life. – Jordan Reeves, 2018 Alumni
“I had a great experience, and I know for a fact that I wouldn’t get this experience anywhere else.” – Julia Thompson, 2014 COLA Alumna



“Honestly, I came into this week not knowing what to expect except for the fact it’s 6 days, 8 hours a day starting at 8am!!  I didn’t know what we would do and honestly didn’t think I’d get anything out of it.  After this week I can say it was the most amazing experience.”  – Alex Lawrence, 2014 COLA Alumna



My favorite part about the COLA program was the fact that it had such a high level of diversity. People I never would have talked to opened themselves up to me and I got to make connections I never would’ve been able to make. It’s like I was in a glass bottle and COLA broke me out of it.  — Jeffrey Robb, 2017 COLA Alumni