• Youth Leadership Academy

    Youth Leadership Academy


    Youth OrganizationsNonProfits

    About Us

    In order to reach our mission, we teach our cadets the knowledge, skills, and experience to thrive as leaders in college and the community as a whole. Thus all of our endeavors stand upon three pillars of core focus: Character Development, College Readiness, and Community Engagement.

    The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is a unique program providing a constructive, mentoring environment for students from low-income backgrounds from Illinois school districts U-46, D300, D301 and D303 who are statistically less likely to attend college than their non-low-income peers.

    The Youth Leadership Academy mission 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.

    Students are selected during the 2nd semester of 6th grade and begin Academy activities at the start of 7th grade. The program continues through 12th grade and ends with two years free tuition to Elgin Community College. Approximately 25 students are selected each year during their 6th grade year based on their applications, recommendations and family interviews.

    Students participate in the Academy by attending leadership training sessions held two Saturday mornings per month starting in August through May at Elgin Community College. These leadership training sessions focus on preparing each student to enroll in college, complete a college degree and be engaged as community leaders.


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    Gallery Image YLA_Logo.jpg

    Rep/Contact Info

    Ms. Christine Padilla
    Administrative Assistant
    • Phone: (847) 628-1102
    Ms. Kathy-Ann Pegues
    Executive Director
    • Phone: (847) 628-1102
  • Elgin Development Group
    A Division of the Elgin Area Chamber

    31 S. Grove Avenue, Elgin IL 60120