The time has come for LDI’s third cohort of students to attend its annual Emerging Leaders Summer Academy.  Life Development Institute is located in Glendale, AZ and offers fully accredited high school, post-secondary and summer academy programs for higher education capable young adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, and other learning disabilities.  LDI serves individuals that thrive in a learning environment providing holistic academic and community engagement.  As such, June 13, 2016 marks the beginning of this year’s summer program wherein students will spend 5 weeks with Life Development Institute on Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus in Flagstaff, Arizona.  During their time at NAU, students will join together in a Mission-Team Based environment to focus upon leadership and employability, daily living skills, and active involvement within the community.

summer academyTo begin, the students will meet together to work through the formation of their Mission-Based Team.  They will develop a mission statement that will guide their time together this summer in addition to the various roles, goals, and guidelines that they identify.  This team-developed mission will then become the back-bone of expectations and success within the program.  From here, the students will learn what it means to have personal leadership.  They will consider how this impacts their own identity as well as note how leadership displays itself within society.  Next, they will come to investigate various aspects of employability and career development.  Students will investigate career clusters and work through the development of personal resumes and cover letters while displaying job searching skills.  Finally, students will complete the Group Fundamentals course from the National Center for Student Life, which will result in their designation as a Certified Student Leader.       

Concurrently, students will develop real life daily skills through their time spent living in the dorms of NAU campus.  Staff and students will reside in NAU’s premier dorms and work through everyday skills that are necessary for independent living.  With the support of highly skilled staff, students come to identify steps that they need to take in order to have success living independently in the future.  This real world application offers students an opportunity to improve these skills and test their ability to move forward through their transition to adulthood.  From this active engagement, students become empowered through personal success, which encourages their continued development.

Finally, students are offered a number of social-recreational activities throughout their time together.  These opportunities enable students to develop and increase their ability to be active participants within the community.  Additionally, students work together through “service learning” to volunteer their time in Flagstaff, AZ.  As a result, each one will come to learn the strengths that they have and how these strengths are vital to both the immediate and surrounding community.  From here, students come to establish a stronger identity and realize their importance.

To learn more about LDI or request information for next year’s Emerging Leaders Summer Academy, please visit or call (623) 773-1545.