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The Freshman Leadership Experience is a leadership program designed for new students interested in building community, investigating servant leadership, and broadening their knowledge of the Birmingham community. Throughout the experience, participants take part in self-exploration, collaboration, and values-based leadership discussions and activities. All meals and transportation are provided for participants during the Freshman Leadership Experience.

As a result of participating, students will:

  • Understand and articulate characteristics of servant leadership
  • Apply values-based leadership when working across differences
  • Connect with other first-year students interested in leadership development


The Freshman Leadership Experience meetings once per month in October and November. The experience culminates in December with a two-day service-immersion experience. Participants are required to attend all of the following meetings:

Meeting 1: Orientation Tuesday, October 3 at 6:00p.m.
Meeting 2: Servant Leadership Tuesday, November 7 at 6:00p.m.
Service-Immersion Experience Monday, December 11 & Tuesday, December 12
from 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.

*This experience concludes at the end of the Fall semester.

Application Process:

Applications will be posted on Engage at the beginning of the Fall semester – search “Freshman Leadership Experience” in the forms tab. Interested participants will be required to interview for the experience. Selected students will be notified via email and expected to attend the first two meetings and service-immersion experience outlined above.

Past Retreat Highlights:

2022 Experience Highlights

  • Service partners: The Salvation Army & The Arc of Central Alabama
  • 100% of participants reported that because of participation they grew as a leader
  • 100% of participants reported feeling better connected to the Birmingham community because of participation

The overall experience was amazing! Getting to go out a serve and also create new friendships was probably my favorite part of the whole experience.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to have spent the week in the Freshman Leadership Experience and it has brought so much for me. I will definitely carry the things taught this week with me in my time at UAB and after.