The Future Leaders Academy of UnidosNow

The UnidosNow Future Leaders Academy* is a comprehensive college prep program that targets low-income, first-generation Latino* students seeking admission into highly competitive colleges.

Over the past few years our students have been accepted into colleges such as Johns Hopkins, Amherst College, Haverford College, Vassar College, Boston University, Colgate University, Bucknell University, George Washington University, University of Virginia, Georgia Tech, Syracuse University, New York University, University of Miami, University of Florida, and Florida State University, among others. These students all received generous financial aid packages, including several whose full financial need was met.

The year-long program, including one-on-one mentorship, will start with an orientation meeting on March 8, 2018 and will conclude in the spring of 2019. Students applying to the Future Leaders Academy should be willing and able to participate in a rigorous program which includes several evening and weekend workshops during the academic year, workshops throughout the summer, and ongoing assignments that must be completed in a timely fashion.

Applications will be reviewed holistically, and while grades and scores are important, you are strongly encouraged to spend sufficient time on the essay section in order to reflect your uniqueness and to demonstrate why you believe you are a strong candidate for the program. The following essays are required as part of the application process:

  • Tell us about yourself and what makes you unique (maximum 1000 characters including spaces).
  • Other than school work, tell us what else you are involved with (maximum 1000 characters including spaces).
  • What course work/field are you planning to major in? Explain why you plan to major in this area. (maximum 1000 characters including spaces).

PLEASE NOTE:  You must complete the application at one sitting – you WILL NOT be able to save it and finish it later.  Before starting your application, please make sure you have the following:

  • Unofficial transcript
  • PSAT score (login to to obtain score). While this is not a required field in the application, you are strongly encouraged to provide this information.
  • GPA weighted and unweighted
  • ACT and/or SAT scores (if you have already taken these tests)
  • Completed essay questions

Please note that a key element of the program is to take both the ACT and SAT exams during the spring of 2018.  Students are encouraged to apply for fee waivers through their guidance office and register for these tests as soon as possible in order to meet application deadlines.

See below for a more detailed description of program elements and planned workshops/activities.

*While our program emphasizes participation by Latinos, we do not exclude other low-income, first-generation students who could benefit from our program, and encourage them to apply.


Target Meetings/ActivitiesTarget Dates (subject to change)
Test prep03/17, 03/31,
04/14, 04/28 (Saturdays, 09:00-12:00)
Deadline to register for SAT04/06
Deadline to register for ACT05/04
SAT exam05/05 (Saturday)
College tour (2-3 colleges)* 06/01 (full day, Tampa/ St. Pete area) tentative
Career exploration 06/04 - 06/08 (09:00-Noon)
ACT exam06/09 (Saturday)
College selection workshops06/11 - 06/13 (09:00-Noon)
College résumé writing workshops06/18 - 06/19 (09:00-Noon)
College essay writing workshops06/25 - 06/27 (09:00-Noon)
College tour (University of Florida)*07/21 (Saturday, full day) - tentative
Review of college selections/essays/résumé/SSAR07/23 - 07/24 (09:00-Noon)
Interviewing workshop07/25 (09:00-Noon)
Completion of college portfolio07/26 (09:00-Noon)
Development of school-year action plan07/27 (09:00-Noon)
Closing Ceremony**07/27 (05:00-06:30)
Financial literacy (Money Management) - OPTIONAL07/30 - 08/03 (09:00-Noon)
Financial health workshop**08/02 (06:00-07:30)
Application workshop #1 (Florida publics/Common/Coalition apps)09/01 (Saturday, 10:00-1:00 pm)
Application workshop #2 (Florida publics/Common/Coalition apps)09/15 (Saturday, 10:00-1:00 pm)
Financial aid workshop** (FAFSA/CSS Profile/FFAA)10/06 (Saturday, 10:00-1:00 pm)
College application workshops #3/#4 (Private schools/application f/up)10/20, 11/10 (Saturday, 10:00-1:00 pm)
Scholarship workshop #1**01/19 (Saturday) Time TBD
Scholarship workshop #202/09 (Saturday) Time TBD
Scholarship workshop #303/16 (Saturday) Time TBD
Review of Acceptances and Award LettersMid-March 2019
Decision Day**Early May 2019




Previous Future Leaders Academy Pictures

And do not miss these pictures from previous FLAs:

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