Rising Leadership Academy

Presented by: Microsoft and Northrop Grumman
Logo for Microsoft Logo for Northrop Grumman Corporation

The Rising Leadership Academy is a free two-day networking and career readiness opportunity for college students and recent graduates with disabilities. This academy takes place in conjunction with the USBLN Annual Conference, the nation’s premier business-to-business conference on disability inclusion throughout the enterprise. During the Rising Leadership Academy, students will experience cutting-edge educational sessions and exciting interactive programming with high-profile speakers. Students will also participate in numerous networking opportunities, including exclusive facilitated networking sessions that connect Rising Leaders to representatives from USBLN member companies/businesses. Check out the descriptions for two signature activities during the Rising Leadership Academy:

Technology Innovation Lab: Hosted by Boeing The Technology Innovation Lab will enable Rising Leaders to learn about the important role that universal design plays in our everyday lives and explore the skills that can help them solve challenges in the workplace by designing innovative new products or services that promote disability inclusion. This real-world, team-based environment encourages cross-disability collaboration towards solving employment challenges. The Rising Leaders are split into approximately 5-6 teams and each team creates a project to address accessibility in the workplace. The Rising Leaders Advisory Council and volunteers from the USBLN’s corporate partners serve as Mentors to offer guidance to the teams and provide feedback on their proposed project designs and approaches. The Technology Innovation Lab will conclude with the teams pitching their ideas to conference participants for a chance to win prizes during the Rising Leaders Plenary.

Rising Leaders Matchmaking Session: During this one-on-one speed networking session, recruiters from approximately 50 USBLN corporate partners will be matched to Rising Leaders who possess the field of study, educational background, and/or experience each company is seeking in potential job applicants. This session is an opportunity for students to learn about the opportunities available in a variety of companies, and an opportunity for students to make an impression with recruiters.

The USBLN is currently recruiting for the 2017 Rising Leadership Academy! Thanks to Microsoft and Northrop Grumman Corporation for making this program free to college students with disabilities. Thanks to Southwest Airlines for making the travel possible. The Academy will take place from August 19th – 24th in Orlando, Florida. If you are a college student or recent graduate with a disability that has questions about transitioning into employment in the business sector, we highly encourage you to apply. The USBLN especially encourages STEM majors, veterans, students of color, and LGBTQ+ students with disabilities to apply. Apply for the Rising Leadership Academy by emailing your resume to Keri Gray (keri@usbln.org) AND by completing this form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017RLA. Deadline to apply is May 10th. 

Commonly Asked Questions:

  • What are the dates for the Rising Leadership Academy?
    The Rising Leadership Academy and the USBLN Conference dates are August 19th through August 24th.
  • Can I view the agenda for the Rising Leadership Academy and the USBLN Conference?
    Yes, you can view the agenda through this link: http://conference.usbln.org/2017_conference/agenda/
  • Do I have to have a disability to participate in the Academy?
    Yes. The USBLN is a cross-disability organization that promotes opportunities for people with all types of disabilities.
  • What does it cost to attend? 
    NOTHING! Your time, attention, commitment and enthusiasm are all that’s needed. The USBLN will work with corporate sponsors and state vocational rehabilitation agencies (if you have a VR counselor) to fund conference fees and travel expenses.
  • What are the benefits in participating in the RLMP?
    During the Rising Leadership Academy, students will experience cutting-edge educational sessions and exciting interactive programming with high-profile speakers. Students will also participate in numerous networking opportunities, including exclusive facilitated networking sessions that connect Rising Leaders to representatives from USBLN member companies/businesses. Finally, participants will learn more about career opportunities in your field of interest and network with employers to learn about their recruiting process and available job opportunities.
  • Will I get a job by participating in the Rising Leadership Academy
    Potentially. Some of the USBLN corporate partners host on-site interviews and follow up with students after the Matching Session. The primary purpose of the Rising Leadership Academy is to strengthen students professional skills and expands their network into the private sector.  However, there are opportunities to leave the conference with a job offer.
  • How to apply to attend the conference? 
    Complete the 2017 Rising Leadership Academy & USBLN Conference Application form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017RLA AND email your resume to Keri Gray, USBLN Rising Leaders Initiatives Program Manager, at keri@usbln.org by May 10, 2017
  • Will I be able to connect to other students with disabilities in this program?
    Yes. The Rising Leadership Academy will host at least 60 students with disabilities from across the country.