Youth Leadership Academy of Madison County Class of 2017

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.

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

YLA taught me to go out of my comfort zone and not to judge others without knowing their story. Everyone goes through rough times and you never know what make them who they are until you know their past.
— Maddie Granger, Frankton High School

A leader is someone who takes initiative; someone who wants something so much that they start it themselves.
— Mason Barnett, Anderson High School

Leaders push other to do their best, not by telling them what to do but by example. Leaders work well with other no matter their differences.
— Macy Wilson, Elwood High School

I learned about learning styles and personalities, which really help me include everyone in discussions and projects. I also learned how easy it is to get help from people, because people are willing to support you.
— Derek Sikorski, Pendleton Heights High School

As a leader I will be I will be a listener but also a vocal speaker. I will be accepting and inclusive. As a leader I will be willing to take on any responsibility that is necessary to help others as well as myself.
— Paige Lang, Elwood High School

Camp made me aware that you truly do not know someone until you understand their story. Camp was quite possibly one of the best, most beautiful, experiences that I have encountered.
— Abby Boerner, Anderson High School

I have gained so much from YLA and it truly exceeded my expectations. Not only did I gain better leadership skills to help out in my community, but I also gained new connections and many friendships that will last a lifetime.
— Brittnee Rust, Frankton High School

One of the things that I learned at Camp was that no one has a perfect life. Those imperfections will help us all strive towards our goals.
— Ravynn Schroeder, Anderson High School

YLA has changed me in a significant amount of ways; from learning to communicate more effectively, trusting others, working together and combining talents to get a job done.
— Skye Fuller, Pendleton Heights High School

A leader is someone who can stand strong and offer a guiding/helping hand. Someone who is not easily intimidated and can stand their own ground.
— Kiernan Peterson, Liberty Christian High School

Several sessions really opened my eyes on how many people are in need and that even though they have gone through struggles, they won't give up.
— Annie Smith, Lapel High School

Youth Leadership Academy Photo Gallery