ILEAD is switching formats! For the upcoming 2016-2017 program year, there is NO application process. Instead of a set ILEAD class that meets throughout the school year, the Interfaith Relations Department will offer stand-alone events geared specifically towards high school students. How will you find out about these events? Join the IR mailing list by clicking the Sign Up button below and we’ll email you whenever we have an event coming up. You can also check IM’s Events Calendar.

Starting in September 2016, we will coordinate events like House of Worship Exchanges for youth, a Youth Service Day, a Youth Dinner Dialogue and more. Stay tuned!

Want to Attend an Elite University like Rice?

ILEAD May Help You! Read more here.

ILEAD is Houston’s premier interfaith youth leadership program. ILEAD began in 2012 as a leadership training experience with its sights set on equipping youth from diverse backgrounds to be leaders, whether it be in their academic, social, or religious environments.

The ILEAD program offers high school students a distinctive combination of networking, university level discourse, and unprecedented access to Houston’s premier leaders from the business, civil service, and faith communities.

Mission Statement:

ILEAD program’s mission is to cultivate confident, respectful and engaged leaders who embrace their own faith traditions and embody effective multicultural leadership skills in their personal and professional lives.

The ILEAD  program is an innovative approach for teaching youth leadership. Successful candidates will be a select group of high school students in the 10th grade or above from diverse backgrounds and faith traditions. ILEAD student leaders will embark on a journey of self-discovery through three areas:

  • Self-Awareness – By challenging students to learn more about their own faith or spiritual identity, students gain a sense of self and self-empowerment that allows them to face life’s challenges with confidence, well-grounded in the traditions that they hold most dear.
  • Leadership – By introducing our young people to expert guest speakers from various professions and fields.  Our speakers share their personal and professional experiences from the fields of business, education, government, journalism, and religious communities, through their lens as a person of faith.  Additionally, we provide ILEAD students with practical experiences in leading their peers and communities by organizing and executing a service project.  Past service projects have benefitted those experiencing hunger, homelessness, and displacement.
  • Effective Communication Skills – Through the practices of peer-to-peer discourse and substantive discussions with guest speakers, iLead trains students to effectively communicate about issues relevant to them and society.  Among the many topics that students research and discuss are current events, world conflicts and disasters, and especially the day-to-day experiences of life as a teenager.
Here you will find pictures, testimonials, and videos from ILEAD’s Past and Present.

Selected Testimonials:

“Creating open dialogue among students of diverse backgrounds benefits not only the students who participate but our community at large. The local FBI office encourages all efforts to reduce prejudice, radicalism, and hate among our young people. We enjoy participating in this program and interacting with tomorrow’s leaders.”
— Special Agent Patricia Villafranca, FBI Houston

Living in Houston offers young men and women the opportunity to meet and get to know contemporaries from the world’s faith communities. ILEAD offers a more comprehensive examination of issues of concern to all, and participants will spend the year in serious and significant study of many of them. I encourage you to give serious consideration to applying for the program and know that it will be a highlight of your high school experience.
— Jack Hodson, Center Point Energy