Cherng Global Leadership Academy

Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Academy has been cancelled. We will update this page with more information at a later date.


The Cherng Global Leadership Academy is a ten-day summer residential program promoting empowerment through civic involvement, community and global service, and leadership, framed through the lens of the University of Missouri’s four core values: Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, and Excellence.

Our goal is to motivate and give you the honed skills and tactics to pursue leadership roles in your schools, social circles, and local communities. The faculty, guest presenters, and counselors of the Academy will inspire and challenge you to guide your generation to take up positions of great responsibility and opportunity.

CGLA2019 at CoMo City Hall

As a participant in the Academy you will have the chance to learn from and network with professionals from diverse backgrounds in business, medicine, education, law, government, military, and agriculture, just to name a few. These individuals put their leadership into operation every day, and will work to help you grow.

Mock city council meetingThe Cherng Global Leadership Academy is open to all current (at the time of application) students in grades 8, 9, 10, and 11, with an interest in exploring leadership skills, civic involvement, and global service.

Academy activities will be held primarily on the MU campus, with several day trips to locations in and around the Columbia area and into the metropolitan areas of both St. Louis and Kansas City. The educational aspects of the programming will focus on developing the values, skills, and experiences necessary to become positive and responsible leaders in our communities.

We will be participating in games and activities on campus that challenge participants in a fun and educational environment, so students should be prepared to get outside and stretch their comfort zones.

Venture OutThe tentative schedule for the Academy is posted online. Students will engage in a variety of leadership activities from the classroom to the garden fields.

While at the CGL Academy, you will be intellectually, mentally, and physically challenged to develop your personal approach to leadership through each and every activity. You will lead when you think you are following, and follow when you think you are leading. And you will love every second!

Please note that this schedule is subject to change based on our partner’s availability, schedules, and innovative opportunities that arise.

On the final day of the Academy, parents and guardians are invited to attend the students’ self-styled TEDx leadership presentations – a culminating 8 minute display of each student’s development and discovery, growth and opportunities, and, of course, achievements.

CGLA 2018


As an Academy participant, you will stay in either Johnston Hall or Wolpers Hall. Both are recently-renovated and air-conditioned residence halls on the grounds of the beautiful University of Missouri campus, which is also a botanical garden. They are conveniently located near many of the most frequented public spaces of campus.

You will be assigned a roommate of the same gender in a gender-specific wing of the residence hall. There will be  Academy Counselors who will be present at all times, working with you to keep you safe, engaged, and connected with the Academy’s leadership and goals. All linens and towels will be provided.

Dining will be hosted in the University of Missouri Campus Dining Facilities for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All meals will be provided during the Academy.


The cost of the Academy for each participant is $400.00.

Peggy & Andrew Cherng, CEOs of Panda Express and Panda Restaurant Group, are underwriting this program to help support the growth and development of leadership among our nation’s youth.




Because of their support, we are able to offer a limited number of financial scholarships for those who have demonstrated need. Students with need will be prompted to address this fact in the course of their application. Those who are awarded a scholarship will have $300 of the fee waived.

In order to qualify for one of our scholarships, a statement, on letterhead, from a student’s HS guidance counselor, that indicates that a student has need, based on the free and reduced lunch criteria for their district, must be provided. The letter can be submitted via email to the CGLA Coordinator (see contact info below). Should a family require a full fee reduction, please directly contact the Coordinator.


If you have any questions or want to speak further with our Academy Coordinator, please contact:


c/o MU Honors College

210 Lowry Hall

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO 65211