The Greater Alabama Youth Leadership Development Program was formed in 2008 as a leadership program for high school juniors and seniors. Students are referred to the program by the principals, counselors, and teachers at participating high schools who evaluate their behavior and character as well as their leadership abilities. The Youth Leadership Program is made possible due to the active partnership of local colleges, communities, and business and non-profits. These partners are not just donors; they are contributors, speakers, mentors, friends, and allies to the program and the students involved in it and who have graduated from it. More than just a “how to be a leader” program, the Youth Leadership Development Program seeks to help create, mentor, and inspire the students of today become the ETHICAL LEADERS of tomorrow.
The Program is long and inspiring, meeting once per month over the course of nine months for about two and a half hours (4:30 to 7 pm). During these sessions, the students meet and learn from one or two outstanding speakers, chosen based upon their accomplishments, stature, and character. Our speakers are not just good at speaking. These men and women are the leaders in their fields and communities. Leadership, as our participants learn, is an active state requiring action. Along with the speakers, participants work with faculty from our partnering colleges and universities as well as honors students work to learn more about various leadership traits and qualities and participate in various leadership building activities and leadership roles. In keeping with the idea that leadership involves action, there are at least three community service activities in which students are encouraged to attend and participate in.
Beyond the amazing leadership and ethical training that the students receive, the graduates of the program are recognized as graduates of the Greater Alabama Youth Leadership Development Program and are eligible to apply for available scholarships.