Youth Leadership Academy

  • IL

About Us

The mission of the YLA is to engage and inspire youth to maximize their potential to become successful community leaders through the access and responsible utilization of post-secondary education.

The YLA is a 501c3 non-profit organization. It offers a unique mentoring environment for students from low-income backgrounds who are statistically less likely to attend college than their non low-income peers. We offer leadership training sessions two Saturdays per month during the academic year to our cadets (7th – 12th grade) from across the Elgin Community College (ECC) District 509, which includes Illinois school districts U-46, D300, D301, and D303. The YLA is currently serving approximately 120 students total. In addition to the leadership training, we offer free academic tutoring, Service-Learning projects, field trips and many volunteer opportunities to participate in community events. At the conclusion of their six years with YLA, if they are in good academic standing when they graduate from high school and they are still residing within ECC District 509, cadets will be awarded a full tuition scholarship to attend Elgin Community College for two consecutive years to complete an associate's degree (they need to maintain grade requirements). Further, some YLA graduates may qualify an additional full tuition scholarship at Judson University for two additional years to complete a bachelor's degree. The motto for YLA is: "I AM on the path to success. I AM college bound." To learn more about the YLA,