Our Founding Story
The idea for Washington Leadership Academy was born in 2013 with a clear vision: to build a school with technology at its core that prepares young people for lives of public leadership. Inspired by the potential of new digital tools to help level the playing field for disenfranchised students, the WLA founding team developed a proposal for a high school that would motivate and prepare students to lead and change the world.
WLA’s founding team includes educators, parents, UX designers, public servants, and other DC leaders, inspired by programs like STEMLY, the Congressional Page Program, the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, and Democracy Prep Public Schools.
The hope was not to “reform” the high school experience, but instead to redesign it from the ground up. In 2016, WLA welcomed its inaugural class of 9th graders offering an innovative curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual student, providing immersive civic education, and equipping our WLA citizen-scholars to “Be The Future.”