The Leadership Academy, Urban Youth Impact’s after-school program, has three primary focuses: literacy, leadership and the Lord. Every day, our students are empowered to improve their reading ability through our Reading Plus program. They are challenged to dive deeper into their relationship with the Lord and students are given opportunities to refine their leadership skills and be an example amongst their peers.
One way our students are able to step into a leadership role is through our Youth Advisory Board. The Youth Advisory Board is comprised of sixteen students in grades 4th through 8th. Urban Youth Impact staff nominate students who demonstrate remarkable leadership qualities and characteristics on our campus. In order for students to make the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), they must uphold our dream pledge and core values while being positive leaders.
Throughout the year, they participate in various service projects and training through the Anti-Virus Curriculum that develops their leadership skills while giving them opportunities to serve.
Recently, YAB students went on a service trip to Singer Island where they picked up trash on the local beach. Collectively, they picked up 1,157 pieces of trash in a 30-minute time frame. While they were there, a sixth grader from Roosevelt Middle school noticed what they were doing and approached them. He asked questions like, what program they were involved with and how he could be apart of it too. Shortly after, the sixth-grader joined and began to pick up trash with our students.
Our Youth Advisory Board students not only took pride in cleaning up the local beach that day but they took the initiative and modeled servant leadership that was contagious across the entire beach. YAB students do not just serve our community, they are constantly seeking ways to serve our staff and their peers. When we empower youth and equip them to step into positions of leadership, more often than not they exceed any expectation set.