High School Achievers

Mumbai (May 2018)

The YLAC High School Achievers program is a summer boot camp. Designed as a mix of exercises, lectures, group work and field visits, the program presents a unique platform for students to develop their critical thinking skills and hone their leadership potential.

The May program in Mumbai will run from 13th May to 20th May at the Central Hall of the Victoria Memorial School in Tardeo.

For details, please see:   Schedule   |   Deadlines   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs




To read more about the content covered in the different sessions, please see key segments here.

Date Theme Sessions
13th May


9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Identity and Privilege Session 1:

1. Introductions

2. Rules for creating a safe space for respectful/judgement free communication

3. Discovering yourself through identity maps


Session 2:

1. Privilege walk

2. What if you were someone else?

3. Have you read Gandhi’s talisman?

14th May


9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Equality and Justice Session 3:

1. Disparities around us and their origins

2. Poverty

3. Equality and justice – the concepts


Session 4:

1. Theories of justice

2. Policies that attempt to promote these ideals

FIELD VISIT – Tuesday, 15th May
16th May


9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Democracy, Constitution and the Government Session 5:

1. Government, its origins and forms

2. Three pillars of democracy – Executive, Legislature and Judiciary

3. Three tiers of government – Centre, State and Municipal


Session 6:

1. External speaker: The role of the government in shaping society

2. Channels of communication with the government

BREAK – Thursday, 17th May
18th May


9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Tools of Advocacy Session 7:

1. Case studies

2. The power of information in advocacy


Session 8:

1. Building a story of SELF, US and NOW (Marshall Ganz)

2. Tools of social media

19th May


9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Businesses and social good Session 9:

1. Do businesses only make profit?

2. Potential benefits of capitalism – does it move the society forward?

3. Introducing the concept of markets and efficiency


Session 10:

1. Case studies

2. Do markets ever fail?

3. What lessons does economics hold for policy makers?

20th May


9 am – 4 pm

Venue: Tardeo

Group dynamics and Leadership

Reflections and Closing
Session 11:

1. Working in teams

2. Why do some teams deliver and others don’t?


Session 12:

1. What is your leadership style?

2. Channelizing your energy to drive change


Session 13:

1. Reflections on learnings and new perspectives

2. Closing: Thoughts on how we can stay engaged with the communities that we live and work in

Program ends

Click here to return to the top



Deadline for scholarships: 18th March, 2018 (Sunday)

Final deadline for submitting applications: 15th April, 2018 (Sunday)

Applications to the High School Achievers program will be processed on a rolling basis. Typically, applicants will be informed within three weeks of submitting the application online. Please note that the number of applications usually far exceeds the number of seats available. Therefore, you are encouraged to apply early.

Please also note that candidates applying for scholarships must adhere to an earlier deadline. Both their program and scholarship applications should reach us on or before 18th March, 2018.
Click here to return to the top


Fees & Scholarships


Rs. 20,000 per participant (excluding GST @18%)

Fees will be payable after the applicant is selected into the program.

YLAC will make arrangements for lunch and refreshments during the in-class sessions. Applicants travelling from other cities should make their own boarding and lodging arrangements.



We recognize that all deserving candidates may not have the means to fund their participation in the program. To support such candidates, YLAC will offer need and merit based scholarships. Scholarship amounts will range between 25% and 75% of the total program fee. YLAC will decide on the quantum of support based on its assessment of the applicant’s merit and need.

For the 2018 edition of the High School Achievers Program, up to six applicants will be offered scholarships in each city. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must submit an additional essay explaining how they plan to use the learning from the program and why they need a scholarship, as well as a short letter of recommendation from a teacher at school.
Click here to return to the top


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. Should I consider joining the High School Achievers program?

The High School Achievers program is designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and explore their leadership potential. It widens their perspective by giving them exposure to liberal arts, especially debates in philosophy, political science, sociology and economics. Field visits give students an opportunity to directly engage with communities and enhance their learning.

The broader aim of the High School Achievers program is to inspire people to think about their social context and to find their purpose in the larger society – be it in the public sector or the private. The exposure also helps students strengthen their profile, build a stronger resume and open up avenues and opportunities for higher education.

Still have questions? See this short video where the founders of YLAC speak about the High School Achievers program.

2. Am I eligible to apply?

If you are studying in grades 9th to 12th and are no more than 18 years of age, you are eligible to apply. Students who are moving into class 9th or those who have just completed their class 12th exams are also eligible.

3. What are the selection criteria?

We look for talented students who wish to change the world around them. There are no prerequisites as such. Students are selected on the basis of their responses to the questions in a short application form.

4. What is the duration of the overall program?

The overall duration of the program is one week.

5. How is the program taught? Is it a conventional classroom setting?

Not at all! Our methodology is anything but conventional. Our teaching methods are not the usual chalk and duster lectures; we use role-plays, group exercises, peer evaluations, videos and games to make the classroom come alive.

At YLAC, we believe that learning should not be boring and we invest a lot of time and effort in making sure that we deliver on that promise! You can watch some of our student’s testimonials from the previous editions here to see how they enjoyed the program.

6. Who is going to facilitate and teach the sessions?

The sessions are taught and facilitated by the YLAC team, including the founders. During the course of the program, a number of external speakers are also invited to interact with our students, and engage with them on a range of issues and subjects.

For the profiles of the external speakers who have interacted with our students in the past, please click here.

7. What is the class size for the High School Achievers program?

Typically, the class size is 35-45 students.

8. Do I get any certificate for this program? Is attendance mandatory?

Yes, students are given a certificate of successful completion at the end of the program. Successful completion requires that a student not miss more than one day during the entire duration of the program. Special circumstances can be considered on a case by case basis, but approval must be sought from YLAC facilitators in advance.

9. What is the refund policy?

In case any unforeseen circumstances prevent you from joining the program, you can request our office to initiate the refund process. YLAC will refund 100% of your payment if the request is received 15 days before the beginning of the program. For requests received 7 days before the program, the refund amount shall be 50% of the payment received. YLAC shall not be able to issue any refunds in case the intimation reaches us at a shorter notice.

Click here to return to the top