Hidden Helper Student Leadership

April 14-19, 2023 
University of Texas, San Antonio 

The Hidden Helpers Student Leadership Program was established to help youth in caregiving roles identify resources as well as increase leadership knowledge and skills to help them prepare for their lives after high school. Hidden Helper high school students from around the world, representing all affiliations of the armed forces to include National Guard and Reserves, are selected based on their leadership potential. 

Students take part in leadership activities and lessons with the mission of preparing to be college-, work-, and life-ready as a caregiver following high school graduation. 

The Hidden Helper Student Leadership Program is supported through our partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. 

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be:

  • In a caregiver role as a Hidden Helper* 
  • Willing and able to travel to San Antonio on dates listed for the event 
  • A high school freshman, sophomore or junior in good academic standing 

Student applications and adult nomination forms are due by February 17, 2023. 

Student Button


Adult Button

This is a scholarship-based program.

There is minimal cost to students. 

MCEC covers the following:

  • Flight to and from San Antonio Airport 
  • Hotel/lodging for 5 nights at Holiday Inn, San Antonio NW 
  • Meals from the time student arrives to the time they depart 
  • Activities planned for the event 
  • Travel while in Texas 

MCEC does not cover: 

  • Luggage fees (typically $30 each way) 
  • Ground transportation to and from local airport 
  • Food while traveling 
  • Souvenirs or extra snacks 

Please contact Tracy Brown with questions:

*Hidden Helpers are the children, youth, and young adults (up to age 18) who are actively involved in or currently impacted by the care needs of a wounded, ill, or injured veteran. 




Wounded Warrior

This program is powered by Wounded Warrior Project® to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

When and how will students know if they are selected?

Each student will be notified by email and text message if they are selected for an interview. After interviews and selection process is complete, all students who were not selected for the program will be notified. 

If I am selected, will my parent be able to travel and attend the event with me?

This is a leadership program and part of the experience and growth is for the student to attend on their own. 

Who attends the HHSLP with the students?

Three MCEC team members are selected to attend with the students. MCEC staff members are required to complete background checks. 

If selected, what happens when I arrive in San Antonio?

Each student is met by an MCEC staff member at the airport as soon as they depart the secured terminal area. Students are then taken to get their luggage and remain with the group until all students arrive and the group departs for the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Where do students stay during this event?

Students will be lodging at the Holiday Inn San Antonio NW, 5535 University Heights Blvd. San Antonio, Texas. 

Do students have to share a room?

Yes. Student will room with another student of the same gender. Students are not allowed to go into rooms that they are not assigned to. Students may gather in the common areas only. 

Are students allowed to have visitors or leave the premises after daily events?

Students will never be allowed to leave the group unaccompanied. Students must remain with the group and MCEC staff for the entirety of the event. Students are not allowed to have visitors during the event. This is for the safety and well-being of all students attending the event. 

What does a typical day look like?

Each day we will visit the University of Texas, San Antonio and partake in leadership classes, team building activities, tours and guest speaker sessions. Evening events are led by MCEC staff and will provide opportunities to build and strengthen leadership skills. 

Are we required to attend all 6 days?

Students must commit to attend the entire event, arriving on Friday and departing Wednesday. If  they cannot commit to this, they should not apply.