Advocacy Leadership Program

High School Enrichment and Exposure Program  

Organized by UMSL’s Child Advocacy Studies Program in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Office of Precollegiate Student Services  


Welcome to the Advocacy Leadership Program!  Within this program, high school students have the opportunity to learn more about the impact of adverse childhood events and how they can be future change agents through the field of Child Advocacy.  Students will be exposed to all the powerful forms Child Advocacy can take, including service as a child welfare worker, a child abuse and neglect detective, a mental health clinician, an educator, a medical or court professional or a legislative advocate. In addition to learning about UMSL’s brand new major in Applied Psychology of Child Advocacy Studies, students will be introduced to the many related possible fields of study including social work, criminal justice, education and nursing. Students will engage in activities related to the core concepts in the field, including cultural competency, how to respond to and prevent child abuse and neglect, and reduce secondary stress. Students will also engage in professional and personal development workshops.

Content Advisory: The Advocacy Leadership Program’s focus on child advocacy will include discussions about child abuse and neglect which could possibly make participants uncomfortable. Camp staff will be available for support if needed. Camp staff are mandated reporters and will initiate a call to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect hotline if they have reason to suspect child abuse, neglect or elder abuse.

The 2022 Advocacy Leadership Program will be held the week of July 11 – 24, 2022 (Mon – Thurs), from 1:30-4:30pm. High school students currently enrolled in grades 9th – 11th (entering 10th – 12th in Fall 2022) are eligible to apply. 

Applicant Requirements:

  • Entering 10th - 12th grade level for 2022 – 2023 academic year.
  • Submit a completed application by deadline (June 13th, 2022).
  • Agree to meet attendance, performance and behavior requirements for successful completion of all 4 program sessions.
  • Includes student participant and parent/guardian commitment.


Application Process:

  1. Submit online Advocacy Leadership Program (ALP) Application
  2. Up to ninety (90) students will be selected for the 2022 Program and contacted in late June with final acceptance and additional information for participation.

Important Dates:

  • Application Open now through June 13th, 2022
  • Notice of Acceptance by June 17th, 2022
  • First session July 11th, 2022


Tentative Schedule of Activities:

Session 1: Welcome, Introduction to Child Advocacy Leadership & Child Advocacy Studies (CAST)

Session 2: Introduction to CAST on Campus (Q&A with faculty, staff, students, alumni & tour of a Child Advocacy Center)

Session 3: Pre-collegiate Development Workshops and service project

Session 4: A Taste of Theories and Methods in Child Advocacy & Self and Community Care: Where do we go from here?


* Participants will be provided all necessary materials for full participation in each session. There will be hands-on, interactive learning presented throughout the program.

For questions and more information please email

Program Goals:

To build awareness of the impact child abuse and neglect has on our community.  

To further an understanding of how each of us can begin working toward social justice for victims through an appropriate response to child abuse and neglect.  

To empower the next generation of leaders that can make a difference through basic advocacy and/or careers in child advocacy.  

To explore career paths related to advocacy work.