Author Archives: Ilaya Hopkins

2013 Delegate Applications are now available

Applications for students wishing to attend the Middle School Experience in Leadership (MSEL), Senior High Workshops (SHW) or Advanced Leadership Seminar (ALS) programs are now available to download from the website. If you would like to receive a paper copy, please contact the office.

For MSEL and SHW applicants, applications must be received by April 1 to receive the Early Bird Tuition Discount.

Once your application is received, you will receive confirmation and the required medical forms which must be completed by June 1, 2013.

For more information, contact the MLW Office at or 301-444-8623.

We’re ready to set SAIL on January 5!

The Annual summer delegate reunion.

Hey 2012 Delegates!  We are looking forward to seeing you at SAIL* on Saturday.  Before you come, please take a few minutes to complete our feedback survey about your experience last summer. Click the link above or go to

Details:  Saturday, January 5, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel, MD 20723

Even if you have not yet rsvp’d, you can still attend. Just be sure to check in when you arrive.

  • Enjoy a light lunch and lots of social time. We’ll serve pizza and drinks as people arrive and see friends from the summer!
  • See your Staff members! Many of the staff members will be on hand to facilitate fun group activities.
  • Hear about the 2013 Programs and pick up an application. Be sure to check in when you arrive that way you (and a friend if you bring a guest) will qualify for the Early Bird discount even if you apply after the deadline of April 1.
  • Show your MLW pride! SAIL is free of charge but we will have some MLW sweat shirts, shorts and pj pants on sale.  If you are interested in getting something, please bring checks or cash.  Also, we’ll be raising money for the MLW Scholarship fund which helps defray the costs of the program for many students every year.
  • Bring your parents/guardians! This year, parents will have the opportunity to experience an MLW workshop, hear a panel discussion on using the MLW experience and participate in a round table discussion.  Read an interesting letter from an MLW parent here.  If you parents do not stay, be sure they are there at 4:00 p.m. to pick you up.
We look forward to seeing all our wonderful delegates from 2012 at SAIL – Students Aligned in Leadership!!

The Parent Perspective

Dear Fellow Parent of an MLW Delegate,

Although we do not know each other, this past summer we shared with you the common experience of retrieving one of our kids following a very full week at Maryland Leadership Workshops.  For us, the drive back home from Chestertown was remarkable for a long list of reasons.  Chief among them was the fact that the trip reminded us just how much our kids who have attended MLW have significantly and tangibly benefitted from the experience.  They have each come home from MLW more self-aware, more in tune to others around them, and clearly having grown into more mature and responsible people.  Listening to our son in the car on the way home describing the fun he had — most of which had to do with the numerous, practical learning experiences during the week — made us proud that our “delegate” was returning from MLW having grown as an individual who was more capable than ever of employing new skills as a leader among his peers.

As former MLW staff members ourselves who quite literally grew up through our participation in the MLW programs, we can tell you that MLW enriched us by providing us with skills that we have used in our personal and professional lives each and every day ever since.  We could not be more pleased than to have our kids, on their own initiative, chose to attend the MLW programs.  You can understand why we were reinvigorated by the trip to Chestertown.  Being around the enthusiastic staff and the cheerful delegates and seeing the many posters and learning tools still prominent in the hallways and around the campus brought home to both of us just how remarkable each of the MLW programs have always been and will continue to be — as long as the organization remains able to sustain itself.  This is not an easy task in this difficult economy for a non-profit organization that draws its strength from a “peer-teaching” model and is staffed by virtual volunteers who participate out of their love of the program and their belief in MLW’s core principles.  Now is the time when organizations such as MLW need the support of the individuals who benefit from the program, namely delegate-alumni and the parents of these kids who grow so much through the MLW experience.

Please, we urge you now, while the memory of your trip to Chestertown is still fresh, to show your thanks by making a tax-deductible contribution to MLW, which has been tirelessly and continuously providing leadership training to students such as your kids and ours and thousands of others throughout the state of Maryland for close to 60 years.  We know that this is a time when every household is trying to minimize its expenses and local governments are simultaneously contracting their support of “discretionary” expenses.  Nevertheless, we hope you will join us in making a difference by giving your support to MLW, an organization that operates on a shoe string, so that it can bring affordable training in life-skills and leadership development, to deserving kids in Maryland year after year.

We look forward to hearing from you.  Please give now by visiting our Support MLW page.


Larry Culleen and Nina Weisbroth,

Current parents, former MLW delegate and long-time MLW staff members


Extra! Extra! See our summer press release!


Contact: Ilaya Hopkins, Executive Director

Students from around the state come together to complete transformational leadership training programs provided by Maryland Leadership Workshops, Inc (MLW)

Gaithersburg, MD (August 6, 2012) — Maryland Leadership Workshops, Inc. (MLW), a non-profit organization dedicated to student leadership development, announced today that over 300 middle and high school students from across the State of Maryland graduated from its residential programs held at Washington College in Chesterown, MD this summer.

During the week long program, students participate in workshops and activities designed to introduce concepts and apply them in a variety of settings. Students engage in reflective, interactive, creative and fun activities and emerge from MLW’s programs confident, inspired, motivated and empowered with the skills necessary for academic and leadership success. Workshop topics include: group dynamics, power and influence, project planning, goal setting and diversity. In some cases, students are able to earn Student Service Learning credits for their work at the program.

Maryland Leadership Workshops’ programs are designed for both experienced student leaders and all those who show potential and interest to lead in their homes, schools, and communities. Through our proprietary leadership workshops using a peer teaching model, MLW empowers youth to gain experience and confidence in exercising leadership today.

In proud partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland Association of Student Councils and Leadership Maryland, MLW graduates become catalysts for bringing together and strengthening schools and communities throughout Maryland. Dr. Nancy Grasmick, former Maryland State Superintendent of schools, stated, “MLW, Maryland’s premier provider of leadership training, consistently empowers youth to exercise leadership within their schools and community and achieve success in all facets of their lives.”

About Maryland Leadership Workshops, Inc.

Maryland Leadership Workshops, Inc. (MLW) is a not-for-profit educational organization that has been providing leadership training programs to Maryland middle school and high school students since 1955. The core programs are designed for three distinct groups: middle school students, high school students and the Advanced Leadership Seminar for a select group of highly motivated student leaders. MLW also runs customized single and multi day programs throughout the year for clients around the state.

The board of directors is chaired by Eliot Pfansteihl, CEO of Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, himself a graduate of the program and former staff member. Members of the board reflect the geographic diversity of our program and are leaders from business, government, non profit and the education sectors.

MLW is in proud partnership with the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC), Leadership Maryland and the Maryland State Department of Education. Please visit our website at

Are you a 2012 Delegate?

Are you attending an MLW core program this summer?  By now, you should have received all the information you need to get prepared including a packing list, campus map and other program details. If you have not received the packet, please email and we will send one out to you.

Leadership in Action!

In addition to our flagship core programs, MLW staff has been busy conducting numerous community outreach programs throughout the spring and summer.  Here is a great article about the recently concluded LEAD program sponsored by Leadership Southern Maryland.