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Pioneer Leadership Program

Pioneer Leadership Program

Pioneer Leadership Program


The University of Denver's long history of service is grounded in a tradition of commitment to the community.   PLP was designed to link formal learning experiences and concepts in leadership with learning and involvement in the community.  With a focus on citizen leadership, PLP engages and equips students through group projects, service opportunities and internships that improve the conditions of our community. 

The Pioneer Leadership Program is a 4-year, integrated learning experience that combines coursework, a residential community, civic engagement, and professional networks to develop citizen leaders.

A cornerstone of teaching and learning leadership in PLP is community and civic engagement.  Pioneer Leadership program participants are active leaders in the DU, the greater Denver community and across the globe.  

On average, PLP students dedicate 5,000 hours every year to community-based organizations both here in Denver and abroad.  In most circumstances, hours dedicated to the community are closely tied to coursework within the leadership minor.  There are three programs that are designed to progressively teach students about leadership principles by observing and applying newly gained skills within community-based agencies and organizations.  These programs are: 

  • Serve to Lead, Lead to Serve
  • Community Change Initiatives
  • Community Leadership Internships
  • Passport for Leadership Development Fund

Student Profile

Student profile: Holly Gordon Holly Gordon

Hometown: Darien, CT
International Studies
Year: Class of 2017

What is one of the most valuable leadership experiences that PLP has given you?
My CCI project in which I collaborated with my peers to write and teach our own curriculum to students at a local high school had a major impact on me. It gave me an unforgettable experience in my prospective field of work while exposing to the community beyond DU.