Ignite your leadership potential.

Our mission is to develop and empower leaders through meaningful connections and transformative experiences.

Applications are due April 14th!

Returning July 22-25, 2023 @ Stockton University.

Our next Annual Conference will be held on Saturday July 22nd through Tuesday July 25th, 2023 at Stockton University for high school students across NJ.  We bring this program to you in partnership with local organizations and led by college students and young professional volunteers.  Training programs throughout the year are hosted in partnership with local universities.

Applications are now open!  Please apply here or by visiting apply.torchleadershipacademy.org.


Who Are We?

We’re a group of volunteers from all walks of life committed to youth leadership development. TORCH was founded as a 501(c)(3) public charity in early 2020 and continues to be operated by a fully volunteer team, many who have worked together in similar organizations since 1995.

Our Values

“A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong…The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.”

– Robert K. Greenleaf (greenleaf.org)


We offer our programs at no cost to schools or students. 

This generation of young people seeks to affect positive change in the communities and world in which they live. We provide opportunities to develop the skills and confidence needed to make that impact.

Our four-day, residential summer program is tuition-free in order to eliminate the economic barriers from engaging in leadership development training.  We seek high school students who demonstrate a keen interest in learning and desire to do good in the world.

Approximately 60 students attended the 2022 program, supported by 30 highly-qualified and trained volunteer staff members.  35 former participants will receive three days of training during the Spring of 2023 to advance their leadership skills and in pursuit of a staff volunteer position for the 2023 summer program.

Annual Conference

Students attend our four-day, residential summer program at Stockton University

Personal Development Days

Participants advance their leadership skills through a series of day-long weekend seminars hosted at participating universities


Teachers partner with us to deliver programming during scheduled periods


School staff integrate us into meetings or events to develop their members and boards

School Assembly

Administrators invite us in to provide all students with a unique leadership opportunity

Leadership of youth, by youth.

Our programs are guided by leading educational research including the concepts of Experiential Learning, the Challenge and Support theory, and Social-Emotional Learning in support of extending the NJ Dept of Education’s Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills learning standards through summer programming.

We design and constantly improve our programming to provide fun and engaging opportunities for young people.  Students explore their own unique leadership skills through a mix of games, workshops, competitions, and interactive presentations.

Experiential Learning

“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.”

David Kolb (MA, PhD Harvard) –  The Kolb Learning Style Inventory 4.0

Challenge & Support Model

“For optimal student developmental growth…, challenges they experience must be met with supports that can sufficiently tolerate the stress of the challenge itself.”


Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice

Social-Emotional Learning

There is “…an 11 percentile-point gain in academic achievement among students who participated in SEL programs compared to students who did not. Students also showed improved classroom behavior, an increased ability to manage stress and depression, and better attitudes about themselves, others, and school.”

Why the ‘Whole Child’ Matters by Educational Testing Service

How students benefit