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Today's Family Magazine

Leadership Lake County youth leadership programs open for enrollment

Leadership Lake County is pleased to announce its two programs designed for students are now open for enrollment.

The Junior Leadership Program is a nine-month program for students entering 9th through 12th grade to acquire leadership skills and increase civic engagement. The Youth Leadership Academy is for students entering grades six through eight.

“We’re taking applications for both programs now, typically in the past we could get in the schools and talk directly to students about our programs,” said Debbie Billings, Leadership Lake County youth programs manager. “This year is different. Some schools won’t let people in the building or students are only there part of the time so it’s a different situation due to COVID-19.”

The deadline to apply for each program is April 23, orientations are in May, and both programs begin in August.

The Junior Leadership Program focuses on 21st century skill development including collaboration, critical thinking, communication, creativity, life and career skills, and information technology skills. Tuition is $425 (nonrefundable).

The Youth Leadership Academy is an eight-month program for students to learn the basics of goal setting, communication, time management and community service skills. It focuses on skill development as it relates to leadership, critical thinking and problem solving, goal setting, working with others, communication skills, and service in the community. This program is a unique opportunity designed to guide students to reach his or her full potential. Tuition is $350 (nonrefundable).

Monthly program days provide students with a behind-the-scenes look at Lake County through on-site visits, guest speakers, and experiential learning activities. Students are introduced to various sectors of the county including government, health and human services, business, and recreation. A class project fosters the development of leadership skills and service learning through a community impact project requiring research, action, and reflection.

The Junior Leadership Program educates students not only how to be a leader, but it also helps people improve themselves in many other ways, said Eastlake North High School student Sarah Chase.

“From all angles of health to how to present yourself, the Junior Leadership Program prepares high schoolers for life outside of high school,” she said. “Participants get a much better understanding of our community and the businesses within. So far, I have learned so much usable knowledge and had so many eye-opening experiences, all of which I will take with me past high school.”

Ella Bonner, a Riverside High School student, enjoys learning while being pushed out of her comfort zone in a good way.

“You get to visit different places all over the county and learn about businesses you probably didn't know were around you,” she said. “There are presentations and opportunities to learn about things that you don't really get to learn in high school such as money, stress relief, etc. Overall, you will get so much out of the program.”

Youth Leadership Academy participant Maggie Kothera of Kirtland Middle School said the program is fun, and full of learning experiences about things she never thought that she would need to learn.

“Like how to present myself on Zoom or why eye contact is so important when you are listening,” she said. “I always look forward to every session because it is fun, educational, and I get to see all of my new friends that I made along the way.”

Leadership Lake County, with help from our community partners, offers a tuition rate well below what it costs our organization to operate the two programs. This assistance is provided by corporate sponsorships and grants from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, The Lubrizol Corporation, Lincoln Electric, Lake Health, and Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve.

A limited number of partial scholarships based on financial need also are available to help defray the tuition for the two youth programs.

Applications and additional information are available for each youth programs at:

· Junior Leadership Program

· Youth Leadership Academy

Leadership Lake County is a private educational nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization established in 1986 and has become a highly-respected partner in the community.

For more information about Leadership Lake County, visit or like us on Facebook at