yla 2021

Youth Leadership Academy of Madison County (YLA)

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.

YLA Participants

  • 40 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


Tuition for a youth participant is $750. Please note we rely on our sponsors to supplement the remaining cost for the YLA program. Tuition does not cover the full cost of opening retreat, months of programming and program materials for participating youth.

Scholarships are available based on family income and circumstance. Contact us for more information.

How to Apply

Apply Now


Each applicant must request an adult to complete the Student Recommendation Form. This adult should be someone who knows the applicant personally and can attest to the applicant's character and leadership potential. Past applicants have provided recommendation forms from teachers, employers, church leaders and extracurricular group leaders/coaches. Recommendation forms should not be completed by parents/guardians, family members or peers.

Questions can also be asked by contacting us here.

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

"YLA has made me a more open-minded person and also has helped me learn to work better with others."
— Elijah Burnett, Alexandria Monroe High School

"A leader is someone who takes the initiative to help others succeed enough so that the leader becomes the supporter."
— Meghan Kirkpatrick, Anderson High School

"A leader is someone who puts others first and inspires others to be the best they can be."
— Abby McCurry, Liberty Christian School

"Through YLA I have become more aware of my surroundings, more confident in myself and more open to doing things for others."
— Elayna Sisson, Pendleton Heights High School

"A leader is someone who teaches others without acting like they're above everyone else."
— Harley Trueblood, Elwood High School

"A leader is someone who understand all types of people, adapts easily, and know that overcoming something can easily be done as a team rather than be a "boss" or just controlling others."
— Olivia Arnold, Elwood High School

"The YLA experience has changed me by making me more aware of myself. It has helped me make realizations about my personality."
— Emma Caldwell, Pendleton Heights High School

"A leader is someone who can speak up and take charge but also be considerate of others and know what is best for everyone."
— Lilly Hoss, Frankton High School

"YLA helped me open up about things that aren’t always comfortable to talk about."
— Izzy Kelly-Rigney

"A leader is someone who steps up and allows others to have a voice and their own ideas."
— Hannah Lang, Elwood High School

"A leader is someone who puts others' needs before theirs and does not ask for the recognition. They're proud of what they do but humble in showing it."
— Jenna Lee, Frankton High School

Youth Leadership Academy Photo Gallery