The Youth Leadership Advisory Council was founded at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site during the fall of 2013 with three student participants. In just a three year span, the program has seen tremendous growth because of its laudable feats and professional development of youth. Forty-six high school students applied for the program this 2016- 2017 academic year, forty were interviewed and only 13 students were inducted into this year’s cohort, because of criteria and financial allotment.

This year’s Youth Leadership Advisory Council’s agenda is compacted with rigorous expectations and challenging projects. All of which will offer various competencies in educational and professional development, but all will ultimately assist our YLA members in preparation for the next phase of life, which for our seniors, is post-secondary education.

We have coordinated a Leadership Lecture Series, where each month, students are afforded the opportunity to hear from a myriad of thriving and flourishing leaders from the Kansas and Missouri area to avail student’s skills, practical knowledge and professional contacts as they venture into their post-secondary careers.

In addition to our Leadership Lecture Series, the students have been tasked with presenting on matters of interest to them and their peers at Topeka’s City Council meetings, facilitating dialogue over the school-to-prison-pipeline in the United States and developing public presentation skills through speaking engagements and community volunteer opportunities. Additionally, students have premier access to various leadership seminars that avail them literary competencies for the sake of composing and developing college essay statements, professional communication and tips on how to maintain leadership skills.

Aside from their professional development, YLA students have been presented with the task of earning and completing Career Shadows with a professional in a field of interest to each student. After satisfying this element of YLA, students develop a clear understanding of what is expected of them to enter such a profession, build their resume my having gained experience in the field and if nothing else acquire a professional contact whom could very well serve as a reference later down the road.

In addition to their mandatory civic engagement, advocacy of volunteerism and service learning projects, students have been afforded the opportunity to visit colleges and universities and scholarship fairs throughout the year. One trip that really seemed to be a highlight for the YLA members so far this year, was our college visit and campus tour of Lincoln University of Jefferson City, MO, the only HBCU founded by the 65th Infantry.

Should you have any concerns and or questions, the school or parents should contact our Youth Leadership Academy Coordinator, Mynesha Spencer at (785) 354-4273 x240 or

Apply Here!

Last updated: February 2, 2017

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1515 SE Monroe Street
Topeka, KS 66612-1143


(785) 354-4273

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