Leadership Curriculum

Courses in character and leadership define the behaviors that we all want to embody as the best version of ourselves.  

Our leadership teachers are passionate about growing IWA’s unique leadership culture, and they actively encourage our students to define their character and develop their leadership skills.  We accomplish this in part through an innovative curriculum focused on character and leadership development, critical life skills, project management, and applications in business and personal finance.   All courses are adapted from materials created by national thought leaders, leadership programs, and universities.

Leadership Courses at IWA

Leading with Character (Freshmen & Sophomores)

IWA is a private, all-girls Catholic college preparatory in the heart of downtown Houston.

A requirement of all IWA students, this unique course compels students to identify, reflect upon, and articulate their strengths, passions, and values.

On their journey to becoming Authentic, Bold Servant leaders, students will learn to manage their time, live with integrity, embrace and practice empathy, and learn how to lean into fear.

Leading with Service (Sophomores & Juniors)

The Young Leaders Program empowers young women to lead and serve.

Students learn to apply the 5 key leadership practices as well as learn to project manage, fundraise, manage a budget, and work with strategic partners in Houston to create an extraordinary solution designed with their community's needs in mind.

Based on the landmark work of Pozner/Kouzes (Santa Clara University), this leadership practices course culminates in the creation of a group Social Change Thesis Project applying the theories learned throughout the semester on a social justice issue in the community.

Leading with Business (Juniors & Seniors)

The Young Leaders Program empowers young women to lead and serve.

Leading With Business is an introduction to entrepreneurship supported by materials from the Wharton business school of the University of Pennsylvania.  This hand-on class applies previously learned leadership principles in a business context.

Students will learn how businesses innovate, remain competitive, market and brand, price, operate their value chain, and track costs and financial results.  The semester’s capstone project is a unique student developed business which applies what they have learned and creates profits for a local non-profit organization.  

Leading with Personal Finance (Seniors)

IWA's rigorous college-preparatory curriculum features many honors and Advanced Placement options and complementary electives

This comprehensive course in financial literacy uses concepts from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and activities from NextGen Personal Finance.

The course provides an in-depth review of banking, investing, budgeting, college financial planning, student and consumer debt, cars and transportation, insurance products, and taxes.  The leadership principles of humility, self-control, and courage help our graduates prioritize their lives around early savings and debt avoidance. Throughout the semester students build a “22- year-old life” model which simulates their individual financial situation as a new professional under their unique career and debt situation.

Very few schools are completely dedicated to empowering young women, even those who feel like they are not “leader material.”  I can say from experience that being a part of YLP has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone in ways I hadn’t imagined

Recent Class Projects

Leading with Service students put on a Christmas Miracle for St. Pius V.
A Christmas Miracle, Leading with Service

“A Christmas Miracle” took on the task of fundraising, planning, and executing a special Christmas party for a special group of students from St. Pius V Catholic School (a Cardinal’s Circle school). When they arrived, the kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade students' faces lit up with wonder as they saw a room full of Christmas activities, Santa Claus, and even a snow-making machine in the courtyard!

Leading with Service students pose at their service site, Summerhouse.

Making Lives Better, Leading with Service

"In our service project, we visited SummerHouse, which is an organization that supports young adults with intellectual disabilities. Our team visited them weekly to help build an environment of friendship and community. By hosting a cast party after SummerHouse's talent show we were able to celebrate their individual talents."

Students in Leading with Service hosted a confidence camp for middle school girls.
Vive le Vogue, Leading with Service

For our project, we wanted to focus on the dignity of human life. More specifically, we focused on educating middle school girls on confidence and its positive benefits. It breaks our hearts to see middle school girls lacking the confidence they need to succeed in life. We also have our own experiences from middle school and we want to create positive experiences for our current middle schoolers.

Our vision was to inspire confidence in middle school girls, encourage creativity with limited resources, and teach real-world tips that lead to success.

The Young Leaders Program empowers young women to lead and serve.

Crawford Coffee Company, Leading with Business

The Crawford Coffee Company sold 381 hot chocolates, 51 peppermint hot chocolates, 130 coffees, 160 salted caramel coffees, 85 double chocolate coffees, and 63 teas. After 15 days of sales, 111 cans of whipped cream, lots of last-minute runs to the store, and bags and bags (and bags!) of Dunkin' Donuts coffee grinds, the students proudly closed their doors with $1400 in the bank - exceeding their predictions by $400.  The beneficiaries of their hard work were the nineteen Pre-K students at the newly established San Francisco Nativity Academy.  The Crawford Coffee Company turned out to be more than a business; it was 24 students thinking, laughing, encouraging and working together to support others.  Principal Matt Garcia-Prats was blown away by the achievement: "We are incredibly appreciative and humbled by the hard work and generosity of these amazing young ladies!"  

Students in Leading with Service visited senior citizens at St. Dominic's Village.
Ole Fur Buds, Leading with Service

We wanted to bring joy to senior citizens in the holiday season. We went to St. Dominic's, a senior care facility, and spent quality time with the residents by playing games and sharing stories. We have noticed that senior citizens feel overlooked in our community, and we are hoping to address this problem by hosting a Christmas party to spread holiday cheer through companionship during this special time of the year.

Students in Leading with Service prepare baskets for their service project.
A Baby's Dream, Leading with Service

Our project was established in 2018 as a means to help low-income pregnant women in the local Houston area. We raised enough money through a bake sale to purchase baskets and items to gift the mothers at Catholic Charities.  We hope we showed them our loving support in their journey of becoming a mother. On the day of our project, we played bingo and "Headbanz" with these mothers, and at the very end, we gifted them with baskets that included items such as diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.