COLA Application

Central Ohio Leadership Academy Application & Instructions

Applications for the 2022 COLA program will be available in January 2022 and can be completed online (preferred) or submitted via U.S. Mail. Through a competitive application process, no more than 50 rising high school juniors and seniors (who will graduate in 2023 or 2024 from high schools in Central Ohio) will be accepted into the 2022 COLA class.

Click here to access a COLA Information Handout to share with a parent or high school leader you know!

 To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Attend a Central Ohio High School (public, private, charter, and homeschool high schoolers are all eligible).
  • Be a rising high school junior or senior planning to graduate in 2023 or 2024.
  • Be able to attend every day of the program from Monday, July 25-Saturday, July 30th; 8am-4pm.
  • Be willing to participate fully in the COLA Alumni experience.

Ideal student 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.
  • Are curious and open-minded.

Completed applications consist of the following four components:

  • A resume OR complete listing of current and past community and/or school involvements. Dates of involvement as well as roles/responsibilities should be indicated.
  • Responses to the following three questions with no more than 300 words each:
  1. Why do you want to attend the Central Ohio Leadership Academy?
  2. Choose one person who you look up to as a leader. Describe who they are and explain what leadership behaviors they enact that you find inspirational.
  3. What do you want to accomplish by the end of your senior year of high school, and what do you hope to do post-graduation?
  • One recommendation letter from an adult or educator (no family relation) that can speak to the applicant’s leadership abilities. Recommendation letters can be uploaded into the application, or submitted to Laddan via email (
  • A completed online application.
    • Note: You should complete the final step, the online application, last—after you have written your essay responses and have all other materials ready for upload. You will not be able to save the online application and complete at a later time.