Youth Leadership Spokane (YLS) develops the next generation of servant leaders by creating strong and healthy youth, and empowering them for service to each other and to their community.
Youth Leadership Spokane Program
Youth Leadership Spokane brings together roughly 30 sophomores, juniors and seniors from all Spokane County public and private schools for an intensive, 10-month program. Each of the class sessions is held at a different location. This allows students the opportunity to tour important locations in the Spokane community. In the past, class locations have included: Waste to Energy Plant, Inland Northwest Blood Center, a TV station, the Police Academy, Fox Theater, Spokesman-Review Press.
Participants explore how to become citizen leaders in the community.
There is a full day team-building retreat in August, followed by one evening meeting a month, September through May.
Applications for Youth Leadership Spokane are available in the spring each year, and the class is chosen in early summer.
- You will understand and refine your unique role as a young servant leader in this community with hands-on experiences that tap your artistic and creative side.
- In addition to servant leadership, you’ll study diversity and learn how to lead effectively and well in cultures different from your own.
- You’ll learn about how the county and its cities govern themselves.
- You’ll gain understanding of the effects of poverty, substance abuse and crime.
- You’ll build skills in communication, running a meeting, team building and interviewing.
- You’ll have opportunities to mentor and be mentored and work cross-generational.
- You’ll be able to put your new skills into practice with service projects.
- You’ll get to know area leaders and will become an important part of a key leadership network that is leading this community into the future.
YLS is as important as any other project, class, team, or event with which you’re involved, so please reserve these dates on your calendar. You are expected to attend all sessions. One absence is excused. More than one absence means you will not receive a graduation certificate, but will receive a certificate of participation. Remember, there are always more applications than places in the program, and your acceptance into the program means we had to deny another student. Your full participation and presence is a benefit to yourself and a gift to the other students.
Developing Leadership through Service Projects
Youth Leadership Spokane students will participate in small team projects throughout the year, some in cooperation with the adult Leadership Spokane class. Many of the projects and events will occur outside of the class sessions. Participation will enhance personal confidence and develop your understanding of the greater Spokane community.
Your input is important!
YLS is your program. Please let us know what kinds of service projects you’re interested in, what leaders you’d like to meet, and what facilities you’d like to tour. We’ll do our best to include your ideas and suggestions.
Leadership Spokane is proud to partner with the Horizon Credit Union and YMCA of the Inland Northwest.
Our partnership broadens outreach and improves service to area youth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Youth Leadership Spokane? YLS is a 10-month civic leadership training program, based on the principles of servant leadership and cultural competence. Youth have the desire to serve their community and get to know teens from other schools. YLS gives them the skills and connections with area leaders so that they can be successful as young servant leaders.
When was it founded? YLS was founded in 1996, as a program of Leadership Spokane. In 2009, Leadership Spokane and the YMCA joined forces to produce the program in partnership. This new partnership broadens outreach and improves service to area youth.
What geographic area does Leadership Spokane serve? Students come from throughout the greater Spokane County area, from public and private high schools and home schools.
What does YLS expect of me? Students must demonstrate a commitment to personal growth and to getting involved in their community. Students must have high standards of personal integrity and be able to dedicate the required time to the program.
Who should apply for Leadership Spokane? Students who will be high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the fall of 2015 are eligible to apply. Applicants should want to get involved, learn about their community, enhance their leadership skills, increase their self-knowledge, gain a deeper understanding of diversity, meet new friends, and/or prepare themselves for the future.
Do I have to be formally nominated to the program? No. You are very welcome to apply on your own.
How many people are accepted into the program each year? 25 to 30 candidates are chosen each year.
How is the class chosen? Applications and references are reviewed by a committee. Final selection is based upon scores and what each student can gain from the experience as well as contribute to the cohort. The program’s goal is to put together a class with a variety of backgrounds and schools. That contributes greatly to a rich and challenging YLS experience.
How will I benefit? You will understand and refine your unique role as a young servant leader in this community with hands-on experiences that tap into your artistic and creative side. In addition to servant leadership, you’ll study diversity and learn how to lead effectively with people whose background, perspective, lifestyle, and culture may be different from your own. You’ll learn about how the county and its cities govern themselves. You’ll gain understanding of the effects of poverty, substance abuse, and crime. You’ll build skills in communication, running a meeting, team building, and interviewing. You’ll have opportunities to mentor, be mentored, and work cross-generationally. You’ll be able to put your new skills into practice with service projects. You’ll get to know area leaders and will become an important part of a key leadership network that is leading this community into the future.
What is the time commitment? There is a full day team-building retreat in August, followed by one evening meeting a month, September through May. There is also a small group service project, and each participant will be responsible complete a one day service project.
What presenters are featured in the class sessions? Past presenters have included Dr. Joe Albert and Dr. Josh Armstrong from Gonzaga University, former City of Spokane Mayor Mary Verner, former Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Lucinda Kay from Let it Shine Media, Dennis Mitchell from Yes, You Can Succeed, Timm Ormsby, Washington State Legislature, Representative Kevin Parker, Mike Gonzalez, KXLY; Ron Wells, Wells & Co. Bill McMillan, Habitat for Humanity and the Rev. Percy Watkins.
Can I get service learning credit for YLS? Leadership Spokane staff will work with your high school to assist you in getting credit for required service learning or for other school projects.
What if schools are closed due to weather? YLS follows the area school districts. In the event that
Spokane School District 81 schools are closed, YLS sessions will be cancelled and rescheduled.
How does YLS communicate with me? Information about the program, schedules and announcements will be posted on the YLS page of the website at www.LeadershipSpokane.org and on the YLS Facebook page. We will also send you a text message and e-mail a couple days prior to the class sessions with reminders and updates. Parents are welcome to join the YLS distribution e-mail list as well. Note: the Leadership Spokane office is closed after 5 PM, so it is not useful to call after that time with messages or questions.
What is the tuition? Tuition of $125 includes all expenses for the retreat, materials and refreshments for class sessions, and graduation.
Are scholarships available? Yes, a limited number of scholarships are available. We welcome applications from those with financial need and are honored to assist in this way.
If I’m not accepted this year, may I re-apply? Definitely. With your permission, we will retain your application for preferred consideration for the next cohort.