Young Women’s Leadership Institute


Welcome to Young Women’s Leadership Institute

Two Weeks All-Inclusive on Campus. Duke University & Saint Mary’s School Leadership Certificate. World-Class Women Speakers, Q&A, Photo-Ops. Dorm Life. Adventures. All Girls. Experience Duke curriculum at a top USA All Girls University Preparatory School.

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Leadership Summer Camp by Duke University & Saint Mary's School in the USA for Teen Girls

Two Weeks All-Inclusive on Campus. Duke University & Saint Mary's School Leadership Certificate.

World-Class Women Speakers, Q&A, Photo-Ops. Dorm Life. Adventures. All Girls. Experience Duke curriculum at a top USA All Girls University Preparatory School.

Have Fun, Learn Leadership, and Elevate College Applications with this Elite Experience.

Welcome to the Young Women's Leadership Institute at Saint Mary's School, a prestigious collaboration with Duke University. Our institute is dedicated to empowering high school girls by offering comprehensive leadership training and skill development. Join us as we guide the next generation of female leaders on their path to success.

The Young Women's Leadership Institute (YWLI) is a dynamic and transformative two-week girls only summer camp designed to inspire and equip young women with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to become leaders in their communities and beyond. Girls will learn from Duke University Leadership Staff in the first half of the day, and then experience awe-inspiring leadership life stories, Q&A, and photo-ops with women who have risen to some of the highest ranks in the world. Girls will receive a certificate from Duke University and Saint Mary's School and will be able to use this experience in life and to boost college and university applications.

About the program

The Young Women’s Leadership Institute provides a world-class leadership experience for a globally diverse cohort of young women, including a dynamic and profound leadership curriculum, skill building, active reflection, and scenario-based collaboration opportunities.

The Young Women’s Leadership Institute is designed to provide an unparalleled opportunity for young women to expand their leadership skills and sense of civic responsibility as they consider their own character, leadership, and integrity. The selected cohort will actively participate in experiences designed to leverage their unique leadership capacities. The Institute is centered around exposure to a world class speaker series of talented and diverse women leaders who have made a difference in their field.

This program will challenge participants to embrace, explore and reflect on what women’ s leadership involves at the highest levels, with a view to changing the world that we live in.

  • 14 days of immersive leadership experiences, workshops and training for girls in grades 9-12
  • Diverse women leaders and experts on a wide variety of topics and sessions
  • Skill-building workshops
  • Peer learning, small-group sessions
  • Activities and experiences in Raleigh and North Carolina
  • YWLI Leadership Certificate


Saint Mary's School residence halls provide a safe and comfortable "home away from home" for its residential students.

Saint Mary's offers three residence halls for students in grades 9 through 12. Each residence hall includes residential faculty apartments, student lounges, laundry facilities and secure key code access. Each residence hall also houses student dormitory prefects. All residence halls are located on the school's gated, 23-acre campus and enjoy 24/7 on-campus security.

The Young Women's Leadership Institute will stay in Smedes Hall.
This historic building built in 1842 was recently renovated and provides housing for up to 60 students, with five residential faculty apartments and four student lounges. The Long Student Center in lower Smedes, includes several student lounges, a kitchen area, a game room with ping pong and pool tables, the activity desk and mailroom, Aldert's Corner snack shop, and the school store, shop1842. The first floor of Smedes Hall features beautiful Smedes-Emory Parlor and cozy Williams Parlor, where students love to study by the fireplace, as well as administration offices.

Campus Safety
Safety is Duke and Saint Mary’s School's first priority.
Security guards are on duty 24/7 and check all parts of the campus regularly throughout the day and night. The school has access-controlled systems installed throughout campus including security gates at every school access point, and door codes for every entrance to academic buildings and residence halls.

Duke University and Saint Mary's School believes good physical and emotional heath is important to helping girls do their best in the classroom, on stage or on the playing field. With two resident nurses, a supervising physician, two school counselors who live on campus, 24/7 triage service, CPR certified faculty, an athletic trainer, Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) on campus, and Duke and UNC Health Systems nearby, we are committed to keeping our students safe and healthy.

Shared Bedrooms

Max 2 campers per room

Separate Bathrooms

Non-ensuite bathrooms


Dining Room
Computer room
Arts room
Science room
Music room
Games Room
Swimming Pool
Tennis Court
Soccer Court
Basketball Court
Dance studio


Duke University Curriculum
At our summer camp girls follow Duke University leadership curriculum led by Dr. Molly Goldwasser and learn from profoundly successful women leaders who speak and interact directly with them. Girls earn an official Leadership Certificate from Duke University and Saint Mary's School.

Friendships and Connection
YWLI is a summer camp for girls where lifelong friendships are formed. Through two-weeks of on-campus dorm life and world-class leadership curriculum, teen girls have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds and create bonds that last a lifetime.

Exciting Activities
From outdoor adventures like high and low forest ropes courses, to meeting and learning from famous leading women, there's never a dull moment at our summer camp for high school girls. Our diverse range of activities ensures that every young women finds something they love, while learning to lead.

Profound Experiences
Summer camp in the USA isn't just about having fun (although we have a lot of it); it's also about personal growth. In partnership with Duke University, Saint Mary's School's Young Women's Leadership Institute provides world-class opportunities for self-reflection, goal-setting, and learning life skills that will benefit campers long after they leave.

Academic Courses

Duke University & Saint Mary's School Leadership for Young Women


How to get to there

Address: 900 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603, USA
Closest Airport: RDU – Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina, USA
Airport Pickup: We pickup from the airport, train station, and bus station.

Things to know

Cancellation Policy

50% Refund if canceled in writing 90 days in advance.

Covid Measures

We employ full-time nurses in our health center on campus with quarantine capabilities.

Health & Safety

The Binder Health Center (BHC) is conveniently located on campus, behind the Chapel. The Center offers a six-bed infirmary staffed by two full-time and one part-time nurse. Our Supervising Physician, Dr. Mary-Cassie Shaw of Oberlin Road Pediatrics, provides off-site medical guidance to insure top-notch care and medical oversight. The BHC also engages in a cooperative relationship with Oberlin Road Pediatrics to provide swift and effective care from medical doctors as needed.

Staff & Student Ratio


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