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 9th-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 five values related to leadership: honesty, integrity, diversity, social responsibility and compassion. This experience is designed for rising ninth- through twelfth-grade students. Traditionally, participants live on campus at NC State University or UNC Charlotte.

Students can expect to experience and learn about:

  • Ethical decision-making
  • Civic and social responsibility
  • Effective communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Motivating others
  • Goal setting

Cost: $750

*We are currently at a waitlist for all 2022 sessions.*

Dates for the 2022 Red Hat Shelton Challenge:

  • NCSU 1: June 12 – June 17, 2022 *currently at capacity*
  • UNC-C: June 26 – July 1, 2022 *currently at capacity*
  • NCSU 2: July 10 – July 15, 2022 *currently at capacity*
  • NCSU 3: July 24 – July 29, 2022 *currently at capacity*

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students are placed based on availability and student preference once the application and two references have been submitted.

Financial Support

*Unfortunately, all Financial Support for 2022 has been allocated. We are unable to provide any additional financial assistant this summer.*

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

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.

Take II is scheduled for Summer 2023.

Students who attended the virtual challenge in 2020 and/or 2021 are encouraged to apply for the in-person challenge this summer or to serve as a Peer Leader.

Shelton Challenge Staff Applications

Peer Leader (PL) Position

The following requirements are preferred of individuals applying to be a Peer Leader for the 2022 Red Hat Shelton Challenge experience: previously attended the Red Hat Shelton Challenge (virtual or in-person) and a 3.0-grade point average or higher.

Cost: $250

Coach/Mentor/Trainer (CMT) Position

The following requirements are preferred of individuals applying to volunteer as a Coach/Mentor/Trainer (CMT) during the 2022 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 and be financially compensated.

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.

Learn more about the Shelton Challenge Intern position.

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