Next Generation Leadership Academy Trains Undergrads in Public Service

UH Hobby School of Public Affairs’ New Program Welcomes Students Inspired to Serve Their Communities and the World

Photo of a teacher and adult students in classroom
Applications are being accepted through June 1 for University of Houston’s Next Generation Leadership Academy, directed by the Hobby School of Public Affairs. The program is open to undergraduates in any major field of study who believe in their own capacity to help create positive change. Image credit: Getty
Photo of Chelsea O’Hara, program director of NextGen
Chelsea O’Hara is program director for the Hobby School of Public Affairs and its Next Generation Leadership Academy. In welcoming the fall 2022 class, the new undergraduate program joins 12 other US institutions in the nationwide Next Generation Service Corps, an initiative of The Volcker Alliance. The UH program is the initiative’s first partner in Texas.

Applications are being accepted for University of Houston’s Next Generation Leadership Academy, a new program directed by the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs. By training college undergraduates to be effective professionals, the NextGen Academy aims to bring practical action to public service and add diversity to the voices speaking up for sound public policy and change.

“We are looking for students who believe in their capacity to bring change to their community and to the world and are eager to develop the necessary professional and leadership tools to create this change,” said Chelsea O’Hara, program director for the Hobby School.

With this new program, which is a partnership of the Volcker Alliance’s nationwide Next Generation Service Corps (also called NextGen Service), UH and the Hobby School join 12 other participating universities across the nation. UH is the first university in Texas to engage in this national partnership. The Hobby School received a $100,000 grant from The Volcker Alliance to launch the program.

“Partnering with an innovative institution like the University of Houston and the Hobby School of Public Affairs was an easy decision for the Next Generation Service Corps. One of our goals is to diversify paths for undergraduates into public service and both the Hobby School and UH are already doing that, this is just an expansion of the existing innovative work going on. UH was also a perfect place for us to have our first program in Texas with the Houston metro area being one of the most dynamic and diverse places in the entire country. We believe that government can be more effective with a new generation of representative, qualified and passionate public servants. UH and the Hobby School are on the leading edge of this movement,” said Brett Hunt, director of The Volcker Alliance’s Next Generation Service Initiatives.

“The Next Generation Leadership Academy welcomes UH undergraduates in any major field of study. Among our inaugural group of Academy participants, we hope to see a diverse group of students from across the UH community. Everyone can work for social good, no matter what career they choose to follow,” O’Hara said.

To qualify for the program, which starts fall 2022, students must be fulltime undergraduates in at least their second year at the University of Houston. No specific degree plan or major is required or preferred. Participants must complete the Hobby School of Public Affairs’ public leadership minor (15 hours), including a minimum of two approved internships. Upon successful completion of the NextGen Academy, UH students will receive $1,500 in recognition of their participation.

To learn more, including how to apply, click here. Deadline to submit an application is June 1.