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Queer Emerging Leaders Program

Since 2014, the LGBT Resource Center’s Queer Emerging Leaders Program (f.k.a. Emerging Student Leadership Program) has been providing an opportunity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) students to explore and develop their identities as leaders. Often leadership is viewed as positional and hierarchal. However, some of the best leadership provided in our communities is personal rather than positional and so we ask: How do we queer leadership? What does it mean to lead collectively and collaboratively rather than within a hierarchy? Through weekly meetings, discussions with local queer leaders, and attending an LGBTQIA+ leadership retreat, QuELP seeks to answer those questions. We welcome any LGBTQIA+ undergraduate student attending the University of Utah during the Spring 2023 semester to apply, regardless of formal leadership history.

Unfortunately, QuELP will not be operating during Spring 2023, check back in 2024 for the application!


What will you do in QuELP?

As part of the 2024 QuELP cohort, students will:

  • Explore LGBTQIA+ experiences from an intersectional perspective
  • Identify and critique systems of power and oppression that affect our lives
  • Build community with other students invested in creating positive change
  • Develop a stronger sense of self as a leader

Program activities and opportunities include:

  • Weekly meetings to engage in discussion and activities centered on community building and leadership development over the course of half a semester.
  • A weekend leadership retreat (location TBD) with the cohort for concentrated time learning as a community. 
  • Learning local queer leaders working for change in Salt Lake City and Utah.

Students participating in the 2024 QuELP cohort will receive:

  • A $500 scholarship from the LGBT Resource Center
  • An Emering Student Leadership Program journal
  • Books &  materials associated with the program
  • All food and transporation costs covered by the program

Program Requirements

  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Utah.
  • Be able to attend all required program sessions, and the QuELP retreat:

How to Apply

To be considered for the Queer Emerging Leaders Program, complete the online application by the priority deadline (TBA). The application will include 3 short essay prompts you will need to answer. The prompts are:

  • Why do you want to participate in the Queer Emerging Leaders Program? What do you hope to learn? Do you have any goals you hope to meet?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Tell us about a time when you were a part of a team. What was that experience like?

Applicants who are selected for QuELP will be notified directly via email. If you have any questions about QuELP, you may contact Shelby Hearn at

How We Evaluate Applications

Applications for QuELP will be evaluated based on students who have enthusiasm, interests, and skills sets related to the following areas:

  • Ability to commit to all program sessions and related activities 

  • Demonstration of collaborative spirit and desire to engage in community building 

  • Commitment to personal growth and development 

  • Demonstration of critical thinking and self-reflection skills 

I am not LGBTQIA+—can allies be part of QuELP?

Allies who advocate for LGBTQIA+ people in their daily personal and professional lives are welcome in QuELP. Please keep in mind that the focus of QuELP will be the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and other people with marginalized gender, sex, and/or sexual identities in relation to leadership.

Who can I contact if I have questions about QuELP?

If you have any questions about QuELP, you may contact Shelby Hearn at

A Big Thank You to our Supporters!

The Queer Emerging Leaders Program is supported by our generous donors, including The B.W. Bastian Foundation and The Parent Fund. Thank you to our supporters! If you have questions about how you can support this leadership experience for students, contact the LGBT Resource Center at

B.W. Bastian Foundation LogoParent Fund Wordmark

Last Updated: 2/27/23