Applying to the CTL Fellows Program

Fellows Graduation

What It Is:

The Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders (CTL) Fellows Program is a year-long advanced leadership program to empower future state-level leaders for Hawaii, who are both world-class and local. Fellows cohorts are composed of 20 select high school seniors from both public and private schools, representing the diversity of Hawaii’s communities.

Through CTL’s rigorous leadership curriculum based on The Leadership Challenge, access to Hawaii’s top corporate, community, and civic leaders, implementation of hands-on community projects addressing Hawaii’s most entrenched issues & more, the CTL Fellows Program trains young leaders to be:

  1. People of Character
  2. Strong Critical Thinkers
  3. Competent Leaders
  4. Caretakers of Hawaii
  5. Courageous Change-Makers

Application Information

Application Deadlines

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now open, deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at ll:59 pm HST.

  1. Application Deadline: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
  2. Notifications of Finalists: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
  3. Interviews for Finalists: Saturday, June 8, 2024
  4. Decision Notification: Friday, June 14, 2024

For accepted applicants:

  1. Mandatory Opening Retreat: Saturday, August 24, 2024 (all-day)
  2. Mandatory Parents Session at Opening Retreat

Application Checklist

  1. Review the CTL Fellows 2024-2025 Program Schedule & ensure you can meet all program dates.
  2. Carefully read CTL Program Expectations.
  3. Complete the online CTL Fellows Application.
  4. Provide two completed online recommendation forms (linked below). It is the applicant’s responsibility to prompt each person to complete the form:
    1. Non-Parent/Guardian Recommendation Form
    2. Parent/Guardian Recommendation Form
  5. If you are requesting financial aid, please read expectations noted in the financial aid section below.

All completed Applications and Recommendation Forms must be submitted by the deadline, May 15, 2024 at 11:59 pm HST.

Selection Criteria

1. Good character & integrity

  • Balances humility & confidence
  • Follows through on their word

2. Strong critical thinking

  • Open to hearing both sides of a controversial issue
  • Always curious to hear other people’s ideas

3. Competent leadership

  • Has experience building strong teams
  • Thinks about a shared vision for their community

4. Cares for Hawaii

  • Grateful for Hawaii as home
  • Willing to serve the community to meet needs

5. Courageous

  • Willing to make CTL their priority extracurricular in order to grow
  • Willing to speak up for what’s right

Student Participation Fee: $795

The Investment: We strongly believe in the potential of the CTL Fellows to be game-changers in our community. With this in mind, the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders makes a significant financial investment in each student. The CTL Student Participation Fee is only part of the full cost of the program. Special thanks to generous community leaders for underwriting portions of the cost.

This investment in each student includes:

  • Opening Retreat (full-day program training)
  • Leadership Academy (a 2.5 day-long, overnight leadership retreat) including related transportation, meals & accommodation costs
  • Government Day (full-day trip)
  • Access to CTL’s leadership development curriculum based on The Leadership Challenge research
  • Books, manuals, and other leadership materials
  • Facilities rented
  • Administrative support, and other costs
  • In addition, speakers and leaders personally contribute their time and expenses, waive speaker fees, and provide hospitality for students. CTL also contributes the value of staff time and labor.

A non-refundable deposit of $295 is due upon acceptance, and two payments of $250 will be due in September and December, respectively.

Note: At this time the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders operates its program on O'ahu. Transportation to O'ahu is not included in the underwritten program costs.

Fellows Program Expectations

Due to the rigorous nature of the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders Fellows Program, students and their families are expected to review and agree to the following Program Expectations prior to submitting their application.


  • CTL Fellows commit to making the CTL Fellows their priority extracurricular activity. The CTL Fellows program was designed for busy students. The bulk of the time commitment comes in the form of 1) Fellows regular sessions and 2) project development time.
    • Fellows meets bi-weekly Monday for 2.5-hour evening sessions. Bear in mind that you will also need to work on a community leadership project as part of the program, which falls outside of regular session time and roughly equates to 2+ hours of additional work per week.
  • Students will be allowed to miss no more than two (2) days of scheduled CTL activities. Please note mandatory dates noted on the Program Schedule. Requests for absences excused or otherwise must be made by both the student and parent/guardian. More than two absences will result in discussion for dismissal from the program.


  • CTL staff and project coaches will use email and text as the primary means of communication. I understand that I must check email and text regularly to ensure timely responses within 48 hours. Lack of communication is subject to discussion for dismissal from the program.
  • I understand that during the program the CTL Fellows are representatives of the organization, and will follow the protocol outlined during the program for appropriate communication with stakeholders and project partners as such.


  • Each year, the Fellows cohort is divided into project teams and tasked with designing a project that will allow them to apply leadership lessons learned in real time, tackling some of Hawaii’s most pressing challenges. Each Fellow will take the lead on a specific project role. Projects are advised by a volunteer project coach. Lack of follow through on projects is subject to discussion for dismissal from the program, and Fellows are required to complete their project in order to officially graduate from the program.
  • I understand that the CTL Fellows project requires meetings with the team and work outside of our regularly scheduled Fellows session times. I am expected to follow-through on all our project assignments as designated by the team and project coach. I will turn in assignments on time, execute my project team role, communicate well with the team, and conduct myself with integrity and professionalism throughout.


  • The Fellows program represents one of the most diverse leadership programs in the state, bringing together exemplary young leaders from private and public schools, across different communities, throughout Hawaii. Fellows will commit to treating each member of the cohort with respect and kindness, and will respect differences in opinion.
  • Fellows will have access to Hawaii’s foremost corporate, community, and civic leaders. Students are expected to conduct themselves professionally and come fully prepared to engage.
  • For Fellows sessions, special retreats, guest speaker interviews, project time, etc. CTL Fellows are expected to complete all advance assignments on time, and come fully prepared to take fullest advantage of the opportunities provided. This includes, but is not limited to, preparing and asking questions, participating in roundtable and other discussions, dressing professionally as required, contributing to group activity work, conducting advance research.
  • The CTL Fellows program is open to qualified students regardless of belief or religious affiliation. Note that this program was founded on Christian values. Like Punahou School and the YMCA. We offer an optional chapel service and opening prayers for major events. Applicants will have the opportunity to acknowledge and respond to this in the application, but this will have no bearing in the selection process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. How do I apply?
  • 2. Do I need to be nominated to apply?
  • 3 . I really don’t think my family can afford the fee. What should I do?
  • 4. I'm a busy student. What's the time commitment?
  • 5. I don’t feel like I belong in a program like this. What should I do?
  • 6. What are the benefits of participating in the CTL Fellows program?
  • 7. I don’t own professional clothes. Is that a problem?
  • 8. I don’t have a ride to sessions. What should I do?
  • 9. Do you accept neighbor island applicants?
  • 10. What does a typical Fellows session look like?