Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Emerging Leader Program


Since its inception in 1988, Boston College’s Emerging Leader Program (ELP) has earned the reputation of being a premiere leadership program for first-year students. ELP is a one-year leadership development program for a select group of 50 first-year students who want to develop their unique leadership style and use their talents to leave a positive mark on the BC community. This program is designed to build leadership skills and potential; foster interpersonal skills and ethical decision-making; and inspire ELP students to get involved in the organizations and causes they are passionate about in the BC community and beyond.

By participating in the Emerging Leader Program, freshmen participants will: 

1. Identify and explore their personal leadership style
2. Acquire leadership skills that can be applied to academic and extra-curricular experiences
3. Engage in reflection and self-assessment
4. Demonstrate what it means to be a contributing member of a community by increasing their skills and/or awareness in the areas of cultural competency, conflict resolution, active involvement and ethical decision making.

The Emerging Leader Program is dedicated to mentoring and developing the skills of some of Boston College’s finest and most diverse students. The world is a place of great variety, and it needs a variety of great leaders. The facilitators, coordinator, graduate assistant, and director empower ELP students to be their best, most authentic selves, which in turn sets a firm foundation for their college experience and beyond.


“ELP, in my experience, has been family away from family, friends away from friends, advocates, confidants, advisors, and inspirations. While the main goal of the program is to empower us and develop our leadership skills, it accomplishes vastly more, and thus within the group, I have found no shortage of hands to hold and hearts to cherish. I can confidently say that I have learned more about who I am as a person in my few months with ELP than I have in my entire life. To put it simply, ELP is discovery, and I am thankful for all that it has given me.”

ELP Freshmen, Class of 2019

The ELP team is composed of a Director, a Graduate Assistant, a Student Coordinator, and ten facilitators. The ELP facilitators are undergraduate students at Boston College who usually, but not exclusively, have completed ELP and have proven to be effective leaders on campus. The facilitators provide mentorship and support to the first-year students in the program.

By participating in the Emerging Leader Program, facilitators will:

1. Identify how they utilize their personal leadership style in a variety of contexts

2. Apply their leadership skills in academic and extra-curriculuar settings

3. Serve as role models who positively contribute to the BC community

4. Mentor and empower a small group of freshmen and their co-facilitator

5. Demonstrate personal growth and development by following through with stated personal goals

The ELP Team:

ELP meetings take on a variety of formats, including presentations from external and internal guest speakers, discussions and debates, skill-building exercises, and reflections. First-year students will spend time in both large and small group settings.

At the beginning of the year, each student is placed in a small group composed of ten students that is led by two of the ELP facilitators. These small groups will meet throughout the year, both during scheduled ELP time and outside of ELP meetings, to provide a safe space for open dialogue and reflection.

Presentations have been facilitated by a variety of individuals, both internal and external to Boston College. Past ELP speakers include:

        - Billy Evans, Commissioner of the Boston Police Department

        - Mike Eruzione, Olympic gold medal winner

        - Rena Finder, Schindler’s List Holocaust survivor

        - Carol Guzy, four-time Pulitzer Prize photojournalist for the Washington Post

        - Kirk Johnson, founder and director of The List: Project to resettle Iraqi allies

        - Fr. William P. Leahy, S.J., President of Boston College

        - Travis Roy, motivational speaker, author, and former BU hockey player

        - Brad Bates, Boston College Athletic Director

Topics are discussed within the context of the Social Change Model of Leadership, and include values clarification, ethical leadership, teamwork and decision making, organizational behavior, diversity, intercultural awareness, social justice, and volunteerism, among others.


The Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to the freshmen in the Emerging Leader Program whose leadership skills and potential are best represented by Boston College’s philosophies of “Ever to Excel” and being “Men and Women for Others.”

The scholarship recipient is selected by the director of the Emerging Leader Program and announced each year, at the end of the year ELP Banquet.

Kevin M. Eidt was a member of the Boston College class of 2000.  A freshman in the Emerging Leader Program, Kevin died of cardiac arrest during an intramural basketball game in the second semester of his freshman year.  In recognition of the tremendous impact he made on the Boston College community in such a short time, Kevin was posthumously awarded the Nicholas Woods Leadership Award, sponsored by the Office of Student Development.  In addition, the Liturgical Arts Group dedicated their "I Want to Praise Your Name" CD to Kevin and the men and women's intramural basketball championship trophy is named after him.  This scholarship was created as a legacy to a young man who, in one semester, made a positive impact on the BC community, lived the motto "ever to excel" and approached every day with the exuberance and determination to live life to its fullest.

The scholarship is funded by the Kevin Eidt Fund at Boston College, which is supported by alumni contributions and grants from the Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship Fund; a 501 (c)(3) publicly supported charitable organization.


2018 | Fatoumata Sall (New York, NY)
2018 | Noella D'Souza (Sharon, MA) Facilitator Award
2017 | Joan Kennedy | San Antonio, TX
2016 | Kandace Nguyen | Morrero, LA
2015 | Noah Groenewold | Hinsdale, IL
2014 | Alec Ellis | Winter Park, FL
2013 | Christopher Klotsche | Milwaukee, WI






In May of each year, the Office of Student Involvement sends a letter and application to all members of the incoming class. The application is comprised of four essay questions. Prior leadership experience is not a prerequisite; commitment and desire are the most important qualifications. The application process is competitive; a typical year yields over 200 applications, and only 50 students are selected. Applications are due mid-June, and applicants will receive a decision by early July.



- Attend a two-day team-building retreat prior to the start of the semester

- Attend weekly meetings every Tuesday from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

- Attend a diversity workshop in the fall semester

- Become involved in at least one other organization on campus

- Participate in two community service projects

- Plan and execute the annual “Sing it to the Heights” competition, an interactive singing competition held each March to benefit the music program at St. Columbkille Partnership School

- Participate in large and small group discussions




Boston College | Office of Student Involvement | 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 | 617–552–3480