IMAGE: Smiling Group of Teenagers

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 prepare for life 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 following high school graduation. 

The Hidden Helpers Student Leadership Program is supported through our partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. 

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 
Application Deadline: 

The applicaton window has closed. Students will be notified if they are selected for an interview. After the interview and selection process is complete, all students who were not selected for the program will also be notified. 

This is a scholarship-based program which covers the following costs: 


MCEC covers:

  • 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 
  • Ground transportation to and from local airport 
  • Food while traveling 
  • Souvenirs or extra snacks 

Please contact Amanda Woodyard 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 the interview and selection process is complete, all students who were not selected for the program will also be notified. 

If I am selected, will my parent be able to travel and attend the event with me?
As a leadership program, having the student attend on their own is part of the experience and growth opportunity.
Who attends the HHSLP with the students?

Two MCEC team members 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. (210) 549-2434

Do students have to share a room?

Yes. Each 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 participate in leadership classes, team building activities, tours and guest speaker sessions. Evening events will be led by MCEC staff and 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 Friday, April 14, and departing Wednesday, April 19. Only students who can commit to the entire event should apply.