Miniaci LEAD Now Summer Institute

The Miniaci LEAD Now Summer Institute and the Fernandez Fellowship Program are dedicated to ensuring that talented high school students have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills with the goal of succeeding in college and becoming effective professional and community leaders.

The Miniaci Family Lead Now Summer Institute is a two-year, six-week summer program for qualified high school students. The Institute provides six college credits in communication arts, offers weekly training in 21st Century leadership, enrolls students in college preparatory courses in mathematics and English, and includes experience in community service.

The Fernandez Fellowship Program provides graduates of the Lead Now program an annually renewable scholarship towards tuition for any of the undergraduate academic programs offered at St. Thomas University and provides a continued professional and peer mentorship program for these scholars.



Students receive life skills training in etiquette and communications, such as public speaking and creative writing.

College Courses

Participants earn six college credits in courses such as COM 102: Society and Mass Media and COM 105: Speech or other related courses.

College Preparatory Courses

Students take college preparatory courses in mathematics and English, if needed. They are placed in the appropriate English and math levels based on their Accuplacer test scores. If the students’ scores are higher than those required for college preparatory courses, they are exempt from taking the basic skills courses.


The Miniaci Family Lead Now program is open to qualified rising senior high school students. Qualified students must:

  • Have completed 11th grade
  • Have an overall high school G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher
  • Submit application form.
  • Submit a personal essay on leadership
  • Submit one letter of recommendation
  • Submit official High School transcripts
  • Take the placement examination at STU


Mail admissions materials to:

St. Thomas University
Academic Enhancement Center
Attn: Monica Hilversum-Perez
16401 NW 37th Avenue,
Miami Gardens, FL 33054


Tuition for the Fernandez Lead Now program is $55.00 per credit. Scholarships are available based on lunch reduction or financial aid programs.


Apply Now