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

"I've made connections and networked with influential people in Madison County. I have learned not only how to be effective, but also where to be effective." — Parker Allen, Alexandria High School

"We are so quick to judge others. Rather than judging, YLA taught me that we should find ways to help them." — Abby Burnett, Alexandria High School

"A leader is someone who is passionate about what they are doing to take people with different skills and values and get them to work together." — Aaron Candiano, Pendleton Heights High School

"I learned through YLA that everyone is capable of being a leaders and the leader isn’t always the guy in the front doing the talking." — Matthew Childs, Anderson High School

"A leader is someone who puts others and the needs of their community about themselves." — Ben Couch, Anderson High School

"YLA has taught me not to judge people and to treat everyone with the same level of respect." — Ronise Goolsby, Anderson High School

"A leader is someone who puts others above themselves and inspires those around them." — Susie Kramer, Pendleton Heights High School

"I will work with others to achieve and propose ideas towards a common goal/vision, while refraining from judging other whose stories I do not know." — Connor Michaels, Anderson Preparatory Academy

"YLA has shown me that being involved is for all ages and it is never too early to make a change." — Claudia Swinford, Elwood High School

"YLA has taught me that being connected to your community is not about waiting to be asked to help, but rather getting involved when you see a problem." — Michael Weddle, Pendleton Heights High School

"YLA has made me a better person. Being surrounded by such a great group of people really changes you for the better." — Mitchell Wiley, Frankton High School

Youth Leadership Academy Photo Gallery