Youth Leadership Academy Council

The Youth Leadership Academy 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 Academy 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 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, students will be 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. Comprehensively, these seminars are geared toward ensuring students maintain the leadership skills they acquire.

YLA students will be presented with the task of completing a career shadow in a field of interest to them as another means of professional development. 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 by having gained experience in the field and if nothing else acquire a professional contact that could very well serve as a reference later down the road.

In addition to their mandatory civic engagement, volunteerism and service learning projects, students will be afforded the opportunity to visit 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 in Jefferson City, MO.

Should you have any concerns and or questions, students, school administrators and or parents should contact our Youth Leadership Academy Coordinator, Mynesha Spencer at (785) 354-4273 X240 or

Apply Here!

Last updated: February 8, 2017

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Mailing Address:

1515 SE Monroe Street
Topeka, KS 66612-1143


(785) 354-4273

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