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Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) (Virginia Board for People with Disabilities)


The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) program seeks to empower young people with developmental and other disabilities to further develop their leadership skills. Students, serving as Delegates from communities throughout Virginia, participate in a wide range of activities and learning experiences during this summer program set on a university campus. 

The Youth Leadership Academy is Virginia's premiere opportunity for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors with disabilities to participate in customized learning and fun through personal, career, advocacy, and leadership development activities.

Each class size is limited and students will be selected through a highly competitive application process. Those chosen will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop themselves and make brand new lifelong friends!

Delegates will learn directly from peer mentors and successful adult role models while they work on their own personal leadership plans, enhance their communications skills, and have a chance to speak directly to state legislators and policymakers, plus much more. Best of all, all expenses are paid by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities!




High School Professional Resources Self-Determination Transition