Youth as engaged citizens and community change advocates through the Lexington Youth Leadership Academy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Lexington Youth Leadership Academy is a leadership development and community change program which has helped high school-aged youth develop into effective leaders in a diverse society. The author describes a multifaceted approach emphasizing education and dialogue about diversity, training in problem solving and leadership skills, adult and peer mentoring, and community collaborations. The program employs an empowerment approach that begins with youth leadership development skills training, and culminates in youth-driven community change projects that focus on social injustice and educational reform.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYouth Participation and Community Change
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Horsch, K., Little, P. M. D., Smith, J. C., Goodyear, L., & Harris, E. (2002). Youth in-volvement in evaluation and research. Issues and Opportunities in Out-of-School Time Evaluation. Harvard Family Research Project. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from Irby, M., Ferber, T., & Pittman, K. (2001). Youth Action: Youth contributing to commu-nities, communities supporting youth. Takoma Park, MD: International Youth Foundation.

Funding Information:
The Lexington Youth Leadership Academy (LYLA) is a community-based program created through the collaborative efforts of the National Conference for Community and Justice-Bluegrass region (NCCJ-Bluegrass), Partners for Youth (a program sponsored by the Mayor’s office), and the YMCA of Central Kentucky. NCCJ-Bluegrass, a non-profit organization in Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky (2003 population estimate: 266,798; U. S. Census Bureau, 2004), is the primary organization responsible for all phases of the program. The YMCA of Central Kentucky and Partners for Youth, along with a number of other community agencies, support the program by providing adult mentors, as well as opportunities for volunteerism and participation in decision-making as part of agency boards of directors and advisory boards. The project was funded, in part, by grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and United Way of the Bluegrass.


  • Community collaboration
  • Community-based services
  • Prejudice reduction
  • Social capital
  • Social change
  • Social justice
  • Youth engagement
  • Youth leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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