Orange County YLA Q&A

What is YLA?

Youth Leadership America is a nonprofit organization that hosts semester long programs dedicated to help high school students develop student leadership and interpersonal skills. With the mission to cultivate the next generation of servant leaders, YLA strives to instill in students the values of responsibility and active participation in the community through efforts such as community service projects and fundraisers.

What will I be doing in the program?

OCYLA associates will attend weekly events where guest speakers share their expertise in different fields, such as entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Associates will also participate in important networking and professional development workshops hosted by such speakers and leaders. Additionally, associates will plan and execute a community service project with their associate groups to present to other groups and respected community figures.

How do I apply?

On the YLA website, visit the “Find a Chapter” page and choose the chapter near you. Application questions and deadlines vary based on each chapter. Complete the application and submit it by the deadline set by the chapter you are applying to.

Why join YLA and what are the benefits?

YLA is not only an amazing opportunity to develop leadership and real world skills, such as professionalism, planning, and cooperation, but it is also a great way to meet new friends and be exposed to a diversity of people. In addition, by interacting with accomplished civic, business, and community leaders, students can make connections that can guide them in what they wish to pursue in the future.

What is the time commitment?

The time commitment and program duration may vary based on chapter, but OCYLA associates are required to attend weekly two hour events for fourteen consecutive weeks. In addition, there will be a few non-mandatory meetings and Saturday events.

Who is part of YLA?

Though position assignments and number of associates vary based on chapter, OCYLA consists of approximately 80-100 associates, 18 Youth Board Directors, 10 staff members and 2 advisors. The Youth Board Directors plan the summer and fall programs and lead their own associate groups to complete a community service project over the course of the fall program. Associates take part in the actual events and programs. Staff members take on jobs such as photographing each event, coordinating sponsorships and alumni, blogging and running YLA’s social media outlets. Advisors preside over the entire program, supervise each event, and administrate.

How many chapters of YLA exist?

Currently, there are five chapters of YLA in California: Bay Area (San Francisco), Oakland, Orange County (Anaheim), San Diego, and Los Angeles.

What are the fees and how are they spent?

OCYLA asks each associate to contribute a $100 fee to the program. This money goes towards activities, pays for event venues, and funds the special graduation at the end of every fall program. The fee is requested in order to make the immersive 14 week program the best that it can be and ensure that students have the most enriching experience.

"I know someone who would be interested in sponsoring YLA. How do they get involved?”

Potential sponsors can get involved with YLA by contacting the president of the targeted chapter. As a nonprofit organization, YLA is always open to generous people who are willing to donate and/or sponsor the program in training the next generation of leaders.