Shelton Challenge

Challenge yourself to lead

Shelton Challenge leadership programs are immersive leadership-development experiences for youth and college students.

With a focus on establishing a strong foundation for future generations, the Shelton Leadership Center cultivates tomorrow’s leaders through values-based leadership programs for rising 10th-12th graders. The Challenge focuses on one of the SLC’s core values each day and builds upon each value throughout the week. These hands-on leadership opportunities give students real-world experience that changes their perspectives on themselves and their world.

Shelton Challenge Programs

Red Hat Shelton Challenge

The core curriculum of this six-day summer program is based on General Shelton’s four values related to leadership: integrity, diversity, social responsibility and compassion. This experience is designed for rising tenth- through twelfth-grade students. Traditionally, participants live on campus at NC State University.

Students can expect to experience and learn about:

  • Ethical decision-making
  • Social responsibility
  • Effective communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Goal setting
  • Values-based leadership

Tentative Dates for 2024

  • Challenge 1: June 9-14, 2024
  • Challenge 2: June 23-28, 2024
  • Challenge 3: July 14-19, 2024

Student applications for 2024 Shelton Challenge weeks will open in December 2023.

Financial Support

Students are able to indicate in their Challenge application if the student’s attendance is dependent upon receiving financial assistance. If a student indicates that they are interested in financial assistance they will receive an email with a link to a form.

Financial assistance applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Shelton Challenge Take II

Tentative Dates for the 2024 Shelton Challenge Take II

  • July 28 – August 2, 2024

Building upon the foundation set during the first year of the Shelton Challenge program, the Shelton Challenge Take II is ideal for students desiring to deepen their leadership effectiveness. Participants in this six-day summer experience strengthen their skills in conflict resolution, time management, decision-making, and project management. Students are placed in hands-on leadership roles and participate in 360-degree evaluations with mentors.

Student applications for the 2024 Shelton Challenge Take II will open in December 2023.

Shelton Challenge Staff Applications

All applications for Summer 2024 volunteer staff positions will open in December 2023.

Peer Leader (PL) Position

The following requirements are preferred of individuals applying to be a Peer Leader for the 2023 Red Hat Shelton Challenge experience: previously attended the Red Hat Shelton Challenge (virtual or in-person).

Cost: $300

Coach/Mentor/Trainer (CMT) Position

The following requirements are preferred of individuals applying to volunteer as a Coach/Mentor/Trainer (CMT) during the 2023 Red Hat Shelton Challenge experience: must be at least a first-year student in college or a graduating high school senior who has served as a Peer Leader or Team Guide for at least two years with the Red Hat Shelton Challenge, experience working with teams, experience with service-learning and reflection techniques, and experience or desire to work with high school students.

Instructor Position

We are seeking professionals who are motivated to develop personal leadership skills while mentoring high school students through their experience of the Red Hat Shelton Challenge. Instructor responsibilities include: facilitating curriculum and assisting with student supervision. Instructors will live on-campus for the duration of the program.

Shelton Challenge Intern Position

The Shelton Challenge Interns are a vital part of the Shelton Leadership Center’s Challenge programs. The intern will assist the SLC staff in providing positive, impactful learning experiences to Challenge students and staff. Interns work in conjunction with the full-time office staff to ensure the Challenge programs are planned and implemented with a high level of quality. This summer-long, paid internship will allow students to gain experience in leadership, event planning, and administrative skill development. Past Shelton Challenge experience is preferred, but not required.

More information on the internship experience as well as applications for summer 2024 internships will be available in December 2023.

Other Shelton Challenge Sites

The Shelton Leadership Center partners with communities across North Carolina and beyond to provide this leadership experience to pre-college students. Students who participate at one of these sites receive the same opportunities and experiences they would at the Red Hat Shelton Challenge, though customized for their particular needs and spaces. Partners are trained by Shelton Leadership Center and provided with all the resources to deliver the program at their site. If you are interested in attending a Shelton Challenge at one of our other sites, please visit their websites below:

NC Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, NC
Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC

Thank you to our supporters and partners

The generous support of many partners makes the Shelton Challenge experience possible!

We would like to thank:

  • Red Hat, Inc.
  • Carolinas Freedom Foundation
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Shelton Challenge Alumni and Friends