Youth Leadership St. Louis
Frequently Asked Questions – for Students & Parents
Youth Leadership St. Louis is open to high school juniors at participating schools/organizations. The number of students selected, application/interview process and final selection are determined by the respective program partners.
Generally speaking, participants must:
- Be in good standing as a student
- Make the commitment to attend scheduled program days
- Complete the required application and paperwork
- Have an interest in strengthening leadership skills and community involvement
Youth Leadership St. Louis takes you out of the classroom and into the community to explore what leadership means in our region – and help you develop your own leadership potential.
During the course of the program, you’ll meet leaders from all walks of life and get to know the issues and opportunities shaping St. Louis. You’ll have the opportunity to learn and practice valuable skills that will serve you throughout your life, including group facilitation, critical thinking, problem-solving, effective teamwork and public speaking. And what really makes YLSL unique is the ability to meet and build relationships with students from across the St. Louis region, forging lasting connections across geographic, racial, cultural, socioeconomic, political and religious lines.
The YLSL program kicks off with a retreat in late September/early October and runs through April, with monthly program days (except in December).
Most months consist of two program days – on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, or on a Thursday and Saturday. Here’s the YLSL 2021-22 Program Calendar. Outside of program days, you’ll also meet with your school team members and YLSL advisor to plan and carry out an action research project at your school/organization.
Frequently Asked Questions – for School Administrators/Advisors
Youth Leadership St. Louis is the area’s only established inter-district high school program that is non-competitive in nature. No other program brings together such a large and diverse group of students – 150 students representing 55 ZIP codes from 30 schools/organizations.
YLSL has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for its excellence and service to youth. Upon completing the program, students report and demonstrate:
- An increase in leadership skill level and positive decision making
- An increase in knowledge relating to diversity
- A willingness to interact more frequently with persons different from themselves
- An increased knowledge of issues affecting the St. Louis region
- A desire to become more involved in their community
YLSL empowers students to create positive change in their lives, their schools and their communities. Program days are designed to expose students to opportunities and experiences they would not otherwise have in the course of their regular school day. Past advisors and participants have described the program as eye-opening and transformational for their students.
In addition to working with your student leaders, YLSL will provide your advisor with in-depth training on process observation and facilitation skills, expertise that staff can easily transfer to use in the classroom or community.
As a school/organization partner, your commitment includes:
- Assigning a staff member to act as a chaperone and advisor to your student team.
- Participating in the student nomination and selection process to identify candidates who represent the demographics of your school/organization.
- Arranging or coordinating transportation to/from program sites.
- Allowing students and advisors to participate in YLSL without being considered absent from school.
Thanks to the generous support of our corporate and foundation partners, we are able to offer Youth Leadership St. Louis at the tuition cost of $500 per student. This cost covers 10 program days, an opening and closing retreat and graduation ceremony. It also includes training provided by FOCUS for your designated YLSL advisor.
“YLSL gives students experiences that forever change the way they understand, view and think about their community, society and the world.”
YLSL Advisor, Ladue Horton-Watkins High School