This program is designed for young professionals looking for a leadership development experience. Each year, the Leadership Center of Excellence looks for aspiring young professionals with a sense of urgency for both career advancement and community impact who want knowledge, connections, and a safe place to practice developing skills that move them faster towards meaningful leadership.

Ignite Young Professional Program was crafted to expose participants to ideas, organizations, and established area leaders that can catapult emerging leaders into situations to create real value and change.

Tuition of $2,850 includes all materials, coaching, and Leadership Summit ticket.

Ignite Young Professionals Class of 2022

The Ignite Young Professionals Class of 2022 session dates:

  • Thursday, October 7, 2021- Opening Retreat
  • Thursday, November 4, 2021- Program Day
  • Thursday, December 2, 2021- Program Day
  • Thursday, January 6, 2022- Program Day
  • Monday, January 17, 2022- MLK Day of Service
  • Thursday, February 3, 2022- Program Day
  • Thursday, March 3, 2022- Program Day
  • Thursday, April 28, 2022- Program Day
  • Friday, May 20, 2022- Regional Leadership Summit and Commencement


  1. Cross-sector relationships with fellow classmates, creating an instant cohort of peers
  2. Exposure to diverse area nonprofit and business leaders, including face-to-face, one-on-one interactions with a member of the Center’s Board of Regents
  3. A personalized “DISC, Management” profile assessment
  4. Education sessions with experts in areas including leadership theories, diversity and inclusion, high performing teams, networking, and conflict resolution
  5. An important project completed by you and a small team of peers on behalf of an area nonprofit
  6. Inclusion in the 8th Annual Leadership Summit at which fellow participants of other Northern Virginia leadership programs join to explore regional issues with area thought leaders


  • Please e-mail Hannah Dannenfelser for more information on applying.
  • Seats to the Ignite Young Professional Class of 2022 will be extended the week of June 7th.
  • The application window for the class of 2023 will open in late winter 2022.

TUITION: $2,850 (Leadership Center for Excellence encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of financial status. Leadership Arlington provides scholarships to nonprofit and small business executives)


  • Ibrahim Abdul-Jawad, Arlington County Fire Department
  • Amina Ait-Bella, Arlington County Government, Board Office
  • Edgar Kodzo Awumey, AHC Inc.
  • Nicholas Billy, Ballston Business Improvement District
  • Zoe Cooper, Leidos
  • Allison V. Farrow, National Science Foundation
  • Wynn K. Hunsaker, Indigo Asset Services
  • Alexandria Johnson, Arlington County Government, Department of Human Services
  • Kristen Johnson, Dominion Energy
  • Bennett Kriete, Accenture Federal Services
  • Shannon B. Maloney, Washington Gas
  • Brittany Elizabeth Martin, Arlington Public Library
  • Haley Miller, The Craddock Group
  • Michael Morton-Campbell, Arlington County Sheriff's Office
  • Melissa Anne Mulé, AHC Inc.
  • Anna Michael Pavluk, Morgan Stanley
  • Afua Riverson, U.S. Department of State
  • Raquel Sheriff, Accenture Federal Services
  • Ned Sieverts, The Craddock Group
  • Shane Simmonds, Arlington County Government, Emergency Communications Center
  • Margaret Bishop Snedden, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company
  • Kimberly A. Soules, Arlington County Police Department
  • Noe Urquia Cuadra, Phoenix Bikes
  • Alyssa Williamson, Arlington County Government, Department of Environmental Services

We have made the difficult decision to postpone Homecoming 2021. Please stay tuned to our emails and social media for the rescheduled date.

"My expectations after my acceptance to the Spring 2014 Young Professionals Program class were to sharpen some professional skills, learn about the new community to which I had recently moved and make a few contacts along the way. The program exceeded those expectations and more!"

Dan Imhoff, BB&T, Spring Class of 2014 Participant

"I’ve been pleased to witness the transformation of my team members who have completed the Leadership Center’s Young Professionals Program. Their confidence, collaborative spirit and broader consulting skills have developed significantly as a result of the program. Though we always pride ourselves on hiring the best at every level, the Young Professionals Program catapults these rising stars forward at a significantly greater pace."

Zach Wahl, Enterprise Knowledge, Employer of Participant

"Leadership is the key to success for businesses and communities. I can think of no better preparation for future leaders in this area than the Young Professionals Program."

Todd Yeatts, Boeing, Employer of Participant


Class Members Selected Each Year


Days of Experiential Learning


Cost of Tuition (Partial Scholarship Available)


Graduates of Our Programs


Regional Organizations in Our Membership


Member Volunteer Hours Contributed Annually

How do YOU benefit?

  • Learn leadership from those who practice it every day across the region
  • Develop experience and relationships that pay dividends personally and professionally
  • Experience exclusive leadership development training from the Center and its faculty
  • Be recognized as a rising leader with the demonstrated ability to take on challenges and serve the community beyond your ability today

How does YOUR ORGANIZATION benefit?

  • Better skilled employees, regardless of organization’s size
  • Deeper community connections for high potential employees that keep them more tied to the region
  • Enhancement of employment brand as an organization dedicated to growing the next generation of committed community leaders

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the age range of the Young Professionals Program?

To apply for the Young Professionals Program, candidates must be between 25-35 years old. The Young Professionals Program is the ideal program for the high-potential leader in the community region who endeavors to:

  • Develop essential leadership skills for effective personal, professional and community leadership
  • Engage with a network of dynamic civic and philanthropic leaders from the Greater DC region
  • Invest in oneself, one’s organization and the region

Some of our participants are professionals who have been in the workforce for close to ten years, but have not had the opportunity to engage in the community at a deeper level. Others may be in their first or second job and are looking to gain valuable skills for the workplace. If you have questions about which program is best for you, please email contact@leadercenter.org

Do I have to live in Arlington?

No. The Young Professionals Program is a regional initiative of Leadership Center for Excellence. There are no geographical barriers to joining the program, and it is open to all qualified individuals in the DC Metropolitan region. All lessons learned are tailored to be applied to the community you live or work in now or in the future.

How will the program help me become more involved in the community?

Our program is your launch pad to community involvement. Not only will you develop friendships with those in your class, but also experience the opportunities offered through Leadership Center for Excellence. Attend Leadership Center for Excellence events and join our network of 1,500+ alumni who represent over 600 organizations. Additionally, during the course of the program, you meet key decision makers, public and elected officials as well as other leaders from the community who become a resource to you on your leadership journey. Whether you seek to understand and embrace your civic responsibilities or look to become more philanthropically engaged with area nonprofits as a volunteer, you will discover new ways to share your time and talents as you expand your leadership footprint.

What are the time demands?

Because teamwork is essential to this program, attendance at all meetings is strongly encouraged. The cohort will meet virtually on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month – with the exception of January – on the schedule below. Meetings may become in person should conditions related to the Covid-19 virus permit in-person group meetings. In addition to the educational schedule below, participants will work in small teams on group projects following governmental safety guidelines. Click here to view the Program Calendar.

Can I miss any of the class sessions?

All participants are expected to commit the time necessary to complete the program. Participants are expected to attend all sessions, including the opening retreat, which is mandatory. No more than two excused absences are permitted (including emergency or serious illness). Any participant who misses the opening retreat or more than two monthly sessions will not be permitted to graduate with their class. Arriving late or leaving early from a session counts as a half-absence.

What happens during the class sessions?

Sessions focus on both community engagement and skill-building. You’ll participate in hands-on, experimental learning while engaging in dialogue with leaders from our community.

Is there any flexibility on the tuition payment schedule?

Tuition for the Young Professionals Program is $2,850. It is our hope that finances will not be a barrier to participation. Candidates interested in applying for financial assistance should mark their interest on their registration.

What happens after graduation?

After graduation, you will have the opportunity to remain engaged with the Leadership Center for Excellence in a variety of ways. You may participate in volunteer committees within the organization which allow you to continue increasing your professional and personal network as our committees are manned by alumni of our Leadership Arlington program and Young Professionals Program.

You will also find that there will be multiple opportunities for you to engage in activities that are geared directly to graduates of all of the Young Professionals Program classes such as class reunions and community volunteer engagements. Additionally, alumni-only events allow for relationship-building among the diverse group of leaders within our LCE network. Several of Leadership Center for Excellence’s ticketed events offer a reduced discount for alumni. Finally, you’ll have access to Leadership Center for Excellence’s password protected alumni directory, providing you even more access to some of our region’s most dynamic leaders.

Thank You to Our Program Sponsors

Ellen Bozman
Fred Schnider