Youth Leadership Academy of Madison County (YLA)

Youth Leadership Academy of Madison County Class of 2016

The Youth Leadership Academy of Madison County (YLA) is an exciting program for high school juniors. Our program prepares young leaders to meet the challenges facing Madison County and central Indiana through hands-on activities and stimulating discussions involving community leaders and visionaries.

To begin their journey, YLA participants attend a three-day, two-night kick-off retreat at the Camp Tecumseh YMCA Leadership Center in Brookston, IN. Camp is a powerful experience and sets the tone for an eight-month journey of personal growth and community awareness.

To view the listing of our sessions, see our Youth Program Outline to the right.

The YLA Participants

  • 36 Madison County and central Indiana young people who will be high school juniors during the YLA session year
  • Demonstrate leadership potential in school and/or community activities
  • Have interest in the community
  • Commit to full participation in the program
  • Maintain satisfactory academic, attendance and citizenship records


The following is suggested levels of tuition. Limited scholarships are available.

Tuition Family Income
$750 Over $75,000
$600 $60,000 - $75,000
$500 $30,000 - $60,000
$400 Under $30,000


History of YLA 

YLA is a program of the Leadership Academy of Madison County. The classes of 1996 and 1997 seeing the need for youth to experience leadership training and to become valued trustees of Madison County and central Indiana, created the youth program. The graduates of YLA have been instrumental in developing the current curriculum and are mentors for future YLA Classes.

What Graduates Say About the YLA Experience

“The one experience in YLA that made an impact on me was learning to accept everyone and their differences.” - Gracie Anderson, Lapel High School

“As a leader I will recognize the gifts of others and combine them with my own gifts to accomplish something greater than I could do on my own.”- James Brandon, Anderson High School

"In YLA I learned that you don’t need to be a boss to be a leader; you just need to connect and respect.” - Phoenix King, Anderson Preparatory Academy

“As a leader I will work harder than everyone, listen to others’ opinions, not boss people around, and find a way to get the task at hand done. I will also treat other members of the group equally and use their strengths to help contribute.” - Blake Morehead, Alexandria Monroe High School

“YLA has opened my eyes up to the opportunities in my community as well as the issues within it.” - Sarahi Osuna, Anderson High School

"YLA has taught me to be more open when it comes to people. It’s taught me to put others who are in need first.” - Maddie Rastetter, Frankton High School

“A leader is a person who wants the best for others; someone who is patient and kind but also willing to make hard decisions. A leader is really just a servant.” - Londyn Rouse, Liberty Christian High School

“YLA has allowed me to be more confident in myself in uncomfortable situations. It has also allowed me to find my voice.” - Kenzie Wilson, Elwood High School

“One of the things through YLA is that I have a new-found knowledge of leading through serving.” - Quinton Bell

“Having the opportunity to get to know other students and their stories was life-changing for me.” - Kalvin Bui

"As leaders, we need to learn to communicate and lead responsibly." - Caleb Conrad

"Through YLA I learned that people with different beliefs can still come together and work to get things done." - Danielle Dodd

"A leader is someone that leads by example and takes the grou's best interest over their own." - Drake Erpenbach

"A leader is someone who takes the time to help others and to listen to what they have to say." - Christian Gonzalez

“As a leader, when I see a need I will not wait for someone else to find the solution; I will take the initiative.” - Travis Hobbs

“Everyone has an opinion that matters.” - Kirsten Hettinga

"A leader is someone who makes sure the people with whom they're working better and lives what they teach." - Grant Hammons

"A leader is someone who acts on their words and takes responsibility for what they say or do." - Emma McCardwell

"I will make sure that before I lead anyone, I need to be a person that can take the back seat." - Sydney Morrow

"As a leader you can't judge another person; you have to have the ability to accept others for the way that they are." - Chayleen Ray

"We must love people for who they are, not just what they seem to be." - Derek Sims

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