Jean Frazier Leadership Institute




Learning to Lead


The Jean Frazier Leadership Institute at Sacred Heart Schools is a formal leadership development program for students and the first and only of its kind in Louisville. The Institute cultivates a leadership culture at Sacred Heart by providing authentic leadership experiences that create empowered leaders who seek to serve others. 


We earnestly believe leadership can be taught and nurtured through deliberate study and practice. Everyone can learn to lead.


leadership pyramid at sha

The JFLI has developed a four-part approach to leadership development, including social-emotional learning (SEL), skill building, authentic practice, and reflection. And it touches ALL students at Sacred Heart Academy.


The SEL aspect is the foundation for all leadership development. We assist the students in identifying who they are, where their strengths lie, and what leadership styles most represent their character traits. In knowing themselves and their strengths, students build confidence to grow their leadership development.


The cornerstone of the process is authentic leadership experience. This may come in the form of an internship, semester-long research project and presentation, academic coaching and mentoring of peers, and more. Throughout a student's time at Sacred Heart, we tie all the pieces together through presentations, workshops, and online leadership modules. 


Leadership programming at SHA falls under the JFLI's three pillars: Leadership, Service, and Financial Literacy. These combine to provide a comprehensive leadership development program that inspires our students to discover their passion and purpose.

Freshman Year - Understanding Self

Navigation Teams

  • Throughout freshman year, students have two upperclassmen mentors who guide them and a small group of peers through the high school transition.
  • Meet during school at least monthly
  • Focus on creating a welcoming environment to ask questions and make friends, foster engagement, and introduce foundations of leadership including growth mindset, team building, and communication

Freshman Seminar (taken by all freshmen first semester)

  • Aims to develop strong organizational skills
  • Encourages social-emotional learning
  • Prepares students to be successful in their high school career

Leadership Seminars

  • Understanding personality through True Colors identification
  • SMART Goals with a growth mindset
  • Financial Literacy with Junior Achievement

Sophomore Year - Leadership to Self

The leadership focus for sophomore year is the Personal Project through our IB programme. Students choose a project based on their personal interest, set a goal to create an end-product, write a reflection on the process and present their project at a final exhibition. Students learn leadership skills such as organization, initiative, creative thinking, resilience, communication, and self-reflection through this sophomore capstone project. 

Junior Year - Leadership to Others | Senior Year - Servant Leadership

In Junior and Senior years, students learn how leadership affects others through career development exploration, additional SMART goal setting, a two-session "presenting yourself" workshop, and the Charles Kane Family Internship Program. Many become Navigation Team Mentors to our freshmen, remembering the impact the program had on them as they entered SHA. Those who want to take advantage of every leadership opportunity through JFLI apply for and become Frazier Fellows. 

Juniors have the opportunity to join SHA alumnae at 'lunch and learn' career development sessions. In addition to the full Career Day, these smaller presentations give students an idea about the educational path our alumnae took to reach their career destinations and learn about careers they are interested in. Past lunch and learn presentations have been from SHA alumnae in the field of Law (judges and attorneys), Human Resources, Business & Finance, STEM & Medical, including physicians, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, orthopedics, and chemical and mechanical engineering.


Adding to these opportunities are alumnae speakers who come back to SHA to address the entire student body. Students have recently heard from:

  • Laura Schwab, then head of Aston Marin Americas, now Chief Development Officer, Davinci E&P
  • Nina Leigh Krueger, President and CEO of Nestle Purina Petcare U.S.
  • Allison Aubrey, Reporter at National Public Radio (NPR) and CBS Sunday Morning
  • Lucy Helm, recently retired Chief Partner Officer with Starbucks. 


4 years of leadership at sha

Charles Kane Family Internship Program

This internship program is open to all juniors and seniors who wish to explore a topic in a career setting. Students complete 40 or 80 hours at a worksite, interview leaders, keep an electronic blog of their experiences, conduct research, and make a final presentation in order to receive academic credit. Students remark how they grow in confidence by getting out of their comfort zones and realizing their career potential at such a young age. Over the last two years, more than 50 students have completed internships in our Louisville community as well as in Chicago, Boston, and Stockholm. 


Frazier Fellows Leadership Certificate of Distinction

Students who wish to take advantage of every opportunity the Jean Frazier Leadership Institute offers complete the Frazier Fellows program. Frazier Fellows consists of three years of comprehensive study and practice focusing on servant leadership. Students who complete the program graduate with a certificate of distinction in leadership on their formal high school transcript.

  • Authentic leadership workshops including character strengths, personal finance, presenting yourself, SMART goal-setting, and more
  • Personal Finance Course
  • Quarterly online leadership modules
  • Small-group discussions
  • 40- or 80-hour authentic leadership experience or internship
  • Leadership Portfolio
  • Leadership capstone presentation

Results that Add Up

  • More than doubled the number of students receiving college scholarships specifically related to leadership last year.
  • More than 50 students completed the Charlie Kane Family Internship program in the last two years, serving local non-profits and businesses to international NGOs.
  • 3,500 internship hours dedicated to non-profit, STEM, and business industries since 2018.
  • 47 Frazier Fellows graduated with a Leadership Certificate of Distinction on their formal transcript in 2022, and 200 active sophomores, juniors, and seniors are on their way.
  • 100% of the Class of 2022 received formal leadership programming.
  • 60% opted into at least one additional JFLI program
  • 50% were involved in at least two additional programs
  • Nearly 1,000 students have successfully transitioned to high school and found their way at SHA through the Navigation Team mentor program and its’ 160 trained mentors.
  • More than 300 students completed the Presenting Yourself workshop where they learned professional interview and communication skills.
  • More than 60 students participated in the Heart Tank Pitch competition.



JFLI Programming at Sacred Heart Academy


Leadership Study

  • Classroom instruction through Freshman and Sophomore Seminars
  • Workshops: Junior Leadership Day, Presenting Yourself, Personal Finance
  • Leadership Seminars: Character Strengths and Leadership Styles
  • Alumnae Career Mentoring: Lunch & Learn Career Development Series, Valkyrie Mentor Network and Career Day
Leadership Practice
  • Frazier Fellows
  • Internship Program
  • Academic Coaching (of peers and SHMS students)
  • Navigation Team (mentoring SHA freshmen)
  • HeartTank Entrepreneurship Competition
  • IB MYP Personal Project
  • Clubs, Academic and Athletic Teams