A Partnership Programme with Family Centre and Dellwood Middle School

Established in 2011, YLA is a 3 phase, 4.5-year leadership training programme targeting youth who have typically experienced significant loss, trauma, or other risk factors, and who are unlikely to participate in other youth programmes. The Youth Leadership Academy programme is run in partnership with Dellwood Middle School. Dellwood students are specifically selected by the school’s staff for enrolment in YLA. The programme is intentionally designed to provide youth the supports they require to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Staff identify the unique strengths and needs of youth and work with youth and families in four key areas: Leadership, Academics and Employment, Environmental Factors, and Personal Factors. YLA is strength based and trauma informed. The programme has three phases, each of which builds off the one before to help youth develop their leadership skills one step at a time. These three phases are:

Phase 1: Youth Leadership Intensive (YLI) is a week long programme that aims to bring youth and adults together in order to increase the understanding both adults in the community and youth participants have of themselves and others. It also teaches teens skills such as public speaking, making positive choices, cooperation, and habits related to setting and pursuing positive life goals.

Phase 2: Youth Leadership Academy  (YLA) Foundations is a 5 month after-school programme that exposes youth to new and fun experiences, and empowers them to make positive decisions and to realize their full leadership potential through participation in community projects and activities.

Phase 3: Youth Leadership Community (YLC) offers the youth person ongoing transformative experiences and individualized support through high-school to help them realize their unique skills, passion and leadership style and perform at their best in and out of school.

Along their 4.5 year journey youth are coached to take responsibility for their academic and career growth, develop a positive sense of belonging, demonstrate self-awareness, better decision making and resilience, and to improve themselves and their community. YLA supports youth to recognize their gifts, fulfil their potential and to become self-sufficient, engaged citizens.

YLA Building My Future Summer Internship Programme:

High school students in YLA phase three (YLC) also have the opportunity to participate in a summer internship programme called “Building My Future”.  At the end of the internship, they share their summer experience and what they have learned with the community at a showcase event.

Family Centre’s Community Programmes help to develop confident young people and create access to services for those who might not otherwise reach us. These programmes promote and teach teamwork, decision making, leadership, social skills, self-regulation and the satisfaction that comes from working to one’s fullest potential.