SVA’s 8th Annual Leadership Institute was held from September 10 - 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.


The Institute is an immersive leadership program that prepares students to affect change stretching beyond their SVA chapter and campus. SVA Alumni Mentors facilitate attendees through a foundational leadership experience to develop core values and hone their leadership skills. Selected through a competitive application process, the nation’s top SVA Chapter Leaders leave with an awareness of their personal leadership ethos and a connected network of peers.

Who Should Apply?

SVA is looking for the following three core strengths in each attendee:

Propensity for Learning

You're a dedicated life-long learner who recognizes the need to sharpen skills not only in leadership but all aspects of life. 

Openness to New ideas

You're receptive to discussing and adopting new concepts and leadership philosophies, even when they may challenge your own. 


You believe strongly in working as a member of a team and adopting a mentality which is conducive to collaboration and sharing of responsibility.

The 2019 application is not open to previous SVA Leadership Institute attendees, but we encourage past attendees to help us spread the word!

Outcomes for Attendees:

  • Understand your most impactful core values.
  • Learn how core values directly support and reinforce your leadership ethos. 
  • Create a defined personal leadership vision to directly support the "why" behind that ethos. 
  • Develop an action plan to see your vision come to fruition. 
  • Join an established support and follow-up network with your fellow participants, facilitators, and mentors.

Last Year's Class:

  • The average GPA for the 2018 class was 3.42.
  • 30% were women, compared to 18% who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and 26% of all student veterans.
  • Attendees traveled from 38 states.

The SVA Leadership Summit begins with an event to commemorate and reflect.

9/11 Remembrance


Receptions and team building activities will be hosted in partnership with leaders in higher education, government, veteran organizations, and business.

Evening Activities & Hosted Receptions


Tours & Meetings with Lawmakers

SVA's National Headquarters staff will take attendees to meet with lawmakers and learn about national advocacy for student veterans.



SVA Leadership Institute Curriculum

The SVA Leadership Institute is a foundational leadership experience that focuses on developing core values and honing leadership skills to affect change stretching beyond your SVA chapter and campus.


Attendees will be coached by SVA Alumni mentors on the importance of leadership behavior, personal branding, how to deliver results, and fostering relationships.


Sponsored with Generous Support by:

Components of the SVA Leadership Institute

A 60-second video is required with all applications. Submissions should demonstrate your potential to both contribute to the experience, as well as benefit from it. Video submissions do not need to professionally produced, but they should be professional in nature, and speak to the your personal narrative. Watch example 1 and example 2 for additional guidance. Please include the hashtag #SVALeads.

How to Apply for the 2019 SVA Leadership Institute

(2) Video Submission

(1) Online Application

Take a few moments to detail your background, educational goals, and leadership interests.

(3) Selection

Final acceptance decisions will be made before the end of August 2019.

Share what motivates your service to others, and what makes you a good fit for the Leadership Institute in one minute or less—see below for additional details.

Student veterans are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. SVA is able to cover the costs to attend this event thanks to generous support from Prudential.

Apply By August 16

SVA’s 8th Annual Leadership Institute was held from September 10 - 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Cost to Attend

Travel, lodging, and meals were provided by SVA for all students selected to attend.

Application Deadline

Friday, August 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET