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Welcome to Ramapo College and thank you for your interest in Leaders in Service: A Civic Engagement Program (LIS). You have found the 2021 LIS application. Before you begin, here is some important information about the program:

  • First-year students and transfer students are eligible to apply for LIS. The program will accept 50 first-year students and 10 transfer students.
  • This application is due Sunday, September 12th at 11:59pm. You should expect to hear back around Tuesday, September 14th, 2021.
  • Leaders in Service 2021: The Immersion will begin on the afternoon of Friday, September 17th and conclude on Sunday, September 19th, 2021. You must be available for the duration of the program and have no outstanding commitments during the week (including work). There will be no exceptions.
  • You will be engaged in dynamic and interactive workshops on leadership and civic and community engagement led by knowledgeable and passionate presenters from on and off campus, meaningful community service projects, and fun social activities throughout the course of the program. The schedule will require us to begin early each morning and projects, activities and workshops will conclude late in the evening.
  • The fee for Leaders in Service is $35. The fee covers the opening reception/dinner the first evening, all of the activities during the days listed above (and more), all meals, your LIS t-shirt and water bottle, and monthly activities! If the fee for LIS is prohibitive for you to apply, please contact us to discuss.
  • Leaders in Service: A Civic Engagement Program is a one-year certificate program – our days together in September are just the beginning! LIS students will meet monthly (and sometimes more) for events and workshops to deepen their civic learning and leadership. Fall events will be announced during the LIS Program!
  • We strongly encourage COMMUTER STUDENTS, EOF STUDENTS, AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS to apply for Leaders in Service.
  • Although Leaders in Service is limited in the number of students we can accept, there are ample opportunities for every member of the first-year class and transfer students to learn more about and exercise leadership and engage meaningfully with our college and the wider community. Students who are not accepted or not able to apply should email or visit the Civic & Community Engagement Center in SC-213 to get involved in these additional opportunities.

We are happy that you are interested in Leaders in Service: A Civic Engagement Program. We look forward to getting to know you throughout your first year at Ramapo. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jack Nesmith at 201-684-7223 or by email at We look forward to your application!


Application Form

2021 Leaders in Service: A Civic Engagement Program Application
Please include name, relationship to student and phone number.
Please indicate your gender identity:
(You may select one box or multiple boxes)
(You may select one box or multiple boxes)
(You may select one box or multiple boxes)

Please answer only one of the following questions:

  • If you could make one change to improve K-12 education in your district or region, what would it be and why? (150-300 words)
  • If you could improve something in our country or the world overnight what would it be and why? (150-300 words)

Please draft a letter to one of your current public officials (municipal, county, state or federal) who represents you. For example, a member of your town council, a county commissioner, your state senator, your member of Congress, etc. If you are an international student,
please address your letter to a public official - municipal, regional, provincial, or national - in your country.

  • Identify the name and position of the official. Be certain that this person represents your town, district, county or state.
  • Please do not address any letters to Governor Murphy, Governor Lamont, or any governor, or to Vice-President Harris or President Biden.
  • Select an issue of concern or interest to you. If possible, connect your letter to current legislation under consideration. If it is a piece of legislation that you are in favor of or opposed to, identify the legislation and state why you are in favor or opposed.
  • The letter should clearly state who you are, your hometown, that you are a first-year Ramapo College student.
  • It should clearly identify the issue and why it matters to you (and others).
  • It should offer possible solutions or creative approaches to the issue or problem.
  • Thank your elected official for his or her time and public service and be sure to provide your contact information.
  • We will work with you on this draft to send a final version to the public official you selected in September once the program begins.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the Leaders in Service application. We look forward to reviewing your application. You will receive an email with a decision to your Ramapo account by September 8.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. — Eleanor Roosevelt

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. — Howard Thurman