LeaderShape, a six-day program that aims to develop leadership skills, integrity, partnerships with others and personal growth, will host its third annual session this May.

The institute facilitates team-building activities, as well as guest speaker sessions and other learning experiences meant to build character.

Although the LeaderShape Institute was originally created in 1986 by Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, LeaderShape Inc. was formed in 1988 as a separate not-for-profit. Since then, the Institute has partnered with different schools and institutions around the United States and throughout the world in order to help students develop their leadership abilities.

Kate Kennedy, assistant director of the Center for Leadership and Service, has worked with the LeaderShape program at UT for a few years.

"LeaderShape is a forum which takes away the 'what ifs' and encourages all students, no matter how many leadership roles they've had or haven't had," Kennedy said, "to forget the reasons you can't do something and focus on the reasons you can."

Kennedy noted that LeaderShape looks for students willing to expand existing leadership skills.

"We do not just select students who already know, and are acting upon, their vision and passions," she said. "Answering the question 'what are you passionate about?' is such a huge question and so many of us have never stopped and thought about this before."

"No matter our applicants' extracurricular involvement, we are looking for students who want to make the world a better place and have a healthy disregard for the impossible."

The 2014 LeaderShape Institute, which takes place May 10-15, will select 60 students who plan to graduate in May 2015, or later, for the year's session.

Katherine Browna, a graduate assistant at the Center for Leadership and Service, has had past experience with the organization.

"I served as an on-site coordinator at LeaderShape 2013," Browna said. "I worked a lot with the behind the scenes tasks that make the program flow, so I spent a lot of time observing the experience the participants went through."

Browna noted the program is highly competitive and designed to help empower and motivate students to create positive social change.

"Students can expect to be challenged to explore their personal values, leadership style and vision and goals for their community and world," Browna said. "Participants often experience a great deal of personal growth.

"They will meet and create friendships with an inspiring group of their peers as well as create connections with some of UT's amazing staff members."

Applications will be available from Jan. 8 to Feb. 12. For more information and applications, click here.