youth leadership academy

Youth Link’s Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is a curriculum-based program that builds leadership skill and a shared positive culture among groups of youth. YLA can be used to unite and strengthen a single group of youth or it can be repeated with multiple groups as part of a larger youth strategy. Youth workers, teachers, police and parents can be co-trained along with youth in order to develop adult-youth partnerships and communities can develop their own YLA training teams with Youth Link consultation and support.

YLA is usually delivered through a series of twice-weekly sessions over four months. This format allows a meaningful culture of belonging and peer accountability to develop. Sessions evolve from being instructional to becoming a group support to youth as they learn to assume roles as peer leaders.

The short-term outcomes for participants are (1) to demonstrate an increased sense of respect for self and others; (2) and the ability to make better personal choices. The curriculum is adaptable but always flows from a consistent set of core values that include:

  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Commitment
  • Community

All sessions are conducted as interactive forums with a high level of youth participation and diverse approaches to learning styles. The curriculum combines role-plays, structured skill development, experiential learning, individual presentations, and fun activities and games to keep students interested and to create a clear appreciation for progress as it is achieved.