Optimist Leadership Academy

The Optimist Leadership Academy (OLA) is focused on identifying and developing Members that have the potential to be good leaders at the District and International levels of our organization. OLA is a nine-month program that consists of sessions that center on primary leadership skills with a new skill set being focused on monthly. Each month, October - May, will focus on a different set of skills necessary to be a successful leader. In June, the entire group will come together in-person for the final sessions.

Beginning in October, OLA participants will have online discussions with their fellow cohort members, online courses, exclusive Optimist Institute content, and readings. Additionally, the third Monday of each month will feature a live webinar via Zoom that all participants must attend (please make sure you can be available the 3rd Monday of each month from 7:30-8:30pm central time for these webinars prior to applying). The culmination of the program will end with an in-person, one-day, hands-on workshop prior to the Annual International Convention.

Completion of all activities, courses, and discussions, as well as attendance at all monthly webinars and the in-person day prior to Convention are required in order to successfully complete OLA. Participants who are unable to complete the monthly requirements of the program will be dismissed. This includes completion of all activities, courses, and discussions, as well as attendance at the monthly webinars and the in-person day prior to Convention.

A request for nominations is sent in August, and invitations to apply are sent in early September. Applications are due mid-September, and acceptance letters are emailed in late September.

Please note that if you have served or are currently serving the organization as a Governor or higher, you are not eligible to participate in OLA. If you have any questions about the requirements, please email leadership@optimist.org