Personal & Leadership Development

Youth Research Opportunity

The goal of this bold initiative is to create opportunities for middle and high school students, especially those housed in low-income and historically underserved communities, to engage in social science research about issues related to their schools and communities and to also cultivate positive change agents among youth in the community and beyond.

Through this initiative, middle and high school students will become:

  • EDUCATED: about varied social issues affecting their schools and communities.
  • ENGAGED: in social science research and the development and execution of research-based action plans for positive social changes in their schools and communities.
  • EMPOWERED: to be active citizens and participants in their own personal growth and the positive growth of their peers, schools, and communities.

The competition will be divided into the following two research strands:

  1. Strand 1: Youth Leadership Development and Civic Engagement
  2. Strand 2: Youth Leadership Development and the Arts

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This global youth leadership development currently offers middle and high school students in Florida and Jamaica the opportunity to develop solid leadership skills and apply them to the development of their schools and communities.  Program participants attend monthly meetings led by community leaders on topics related to leadership development and participate in several community service projects while learning the benefits and blessings of helping others and being forces of positive change in their own communities.

The goal of the program is cultivate Y-Lead ambassadors within schools and communities who will be tasked with promoting leadership development among their peers, and by so doing, help to build stronger schools and communities

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 Y-Lead Symposium

This one-day conference targets middle and high school students. The Y-Lead Symposium creates a platform for participants to network with youth leaders, interact with college students and community leaders, and learn valuable leadership and personal development skills.

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Leading Through the Arts

In partnership with other youth leadership development organizations, our annual “Leading Thru the  Arts” program showcases the musical, dance, and spoken-word talent of youth leaders in the community. For more  information about this intiative, please email