The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program is a competitive five week long summer leadership program that takes place just outside of Washington, D.C. at George Washington's Mount Vernon. The program offers a small, select group of rising college juniors unparalleled opportunities in the nation's capital and on the famous estate of the first President of the United States.

About the Program

The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program is a fully paid and funded, five and a half week summer residential program for rising juniors who desire to make a difference. We invite rising third-year students from diverse academic disciplines to join us outside of Washington, D.C. in Mount Vernon, Virginia to immerse themselves in a leadership development program inspired by George Washington and today's foremost leaders.

This select, small cohort will engage in dynamic leadership education curriculum, interact with nationally recognized corporate, government, and military leaders in the nation’s capital, and discover how to change the world through self-reflection, exciting experiential activities, and a community service-focused capstone project.

Meet the Class of 2016

Shelby Barlow

University of Pennsylvania

Major: Political Science and History

Activities: Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters; writer for IMPACT Magazine; member of OAX, a women's philanthropy organization

Long Beach, Mississippi

Andrea Barnes

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Major: Public Policy and Sociology (Double Major), Hispanic Studies Minor

Activities: Director of the Latina/o Mentoring Program (LMP), Admissions Ambassador, Figure Skater

Fort Washington, Maryland

Kyle Bligen

Mercer University

Major: Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Activities: Mercer Debate, AVID Tutoring, National Society of Leadership and Success

Peachtree City, Georgia

Janessa Blythe

Baylor University

Major: University Scholars concentration in Great Texts, Political Science, and Classics

Activities: Community Leader in South Russell Residence Hall, Undergraduate Mock Trial Team, Baylor Civitas

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ashley Burns

School: Missouri Southern State University

Major: Biology

Activities: Events Coordinator of Honors Club Epsilon Mu Sigma, Southern Ambassadors campus tour guide, Volunteer Director of Campus Activities Board. Employed with George Washington Carver National Monument

Joplin, Missouri

Ben Goldfein

Emory University

Major: Philosophy

Activities: Professional Magician, Emory satire magazine The Spoke, Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do

Atlanta, Georgia

Garrett Kalt

Washington State University

Major: Strategic Communication and Political Science with a minor in Economics within the Honors College

Activities: ASWSU Senator, Resident Advisor, Campus Tour Guide, VP of Public Relations for the Student Alumni Ambassadors

Fallon, Nevada

Jonathan Kaufmann

American University

Major: Economics and International Studies

Activities: American University Ambassadors, Mock Trial Team

Montgomery, New Jersey

Morgan King

West Virginia University

Major: Civil and Environmental Engineering (with three minors in Spanish, International Studies, and Dance)

Activities: Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association, Engineers Without Borders, Model UN

Charleston, West Virginia

Claire Lee

Purdue University

Major: Political Science and Economics

Activities: Purdue University Old Masters Program, Honors Leadership Council, Purdue Foundation Student Board

Indianapolis, Indiana

Zachary Lien

University of Idaho

Major: International Studies, Political Science, and Spanish

Activities: Honors Leadership Council, LGBTQA Speaker's Bureau, International Affairs Club

Moscow, Idaho

Phoebe Lockhart

University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Major: Economics

Activities: College of Business Administration Honors Academy President, Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations VP External Affairs, Law Office of R. Kevin O’Donnell, P.C., L.L.O. (Legal Intern)

Ogallala, Nebraska

Tyler Portanova

University of Alabama

Major: Accounting with a Specialization in Professional Accounting

Activities: Student Government Senator, University Fellows Experience, Theta Chi Fraternity Vice President for Health and Safety

Brentwood, Tennessee

Aleksandra Ryshina

Baruch College

Major: Political Science and English

Activities: Peer for Career Philanthropy Committee Co-Chair, Improvisational Comedy Performer, Writer

Brooklyn, New York

Emerson Wells

Brown University

Major: Double Concentrating in Neuroscience and Public Health

Activities: Coordinator for BEAM: Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring Program, Brown University Chorus, Meiklejohn Peer Advisor

Niskayuna, New York

Erinie Yousief

Sarah Lawrence College

Major: Public Policy

Activities: “Real Talk” Organization, Immigration Advocacy, Writer

Franklin, Tennessee

“The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program provides an outstanding opportunity for students’ academic and professional development. Through her fellowship this past summer, Skidmore junior Lilly Philbrick learned about leadership through the life and legacy of George Washington while also launching a capstone project about a cause she is passionate about. According to Lilly, “it was truly one of the most valuable experiences I could have had this past summer. The people at Mount Vernon are incredible resources and my fellow fellows are going to be some of my lifelong friends.”

- Director of the Career and Development Center, Skidmore College

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3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121