Youth Leadership Academy (YLA)

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Youth Leadership Academy Overview

The Prince George’s County Office of Human Rights, in partnership with the Department of Family Services’ Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Division, is pleased to announce a virtual Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) through the Office of Human Rights.  Youth ages 12 years to 22 years are encouraged to apply.

YLA Fall 2022 will run virtually on Tuesday afternoons from 5:00 to 6:30 pm, September 27th through December 12th. We seek curious and engaged youth leaders who want to learn more about leadership and civil and human rights. YLA participants are expected to:

  • attend all virtual sessions with cameras on and ready to participate
  • engage with material and facilitators on topics like social justice, discrimination, language access, and human trafficking
  • notify facilitators in advance of any necessary absences
  • create a project over the course of the YLA session
  • share your interests with other youth leaders and facilitators, recognizing you are a teacher as much as a student

The Office of Human Rights is the county’s civil and human rights education and enforcement agency and has four divisions:  investigations of allegations of discrimination; leading a coordinated collaborative response to sex and labor trafficking through the Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force; implementing and managing equal access to County services regardless of English proficiency through the Language Access Compliance Program; and robust outreach and engagement programming to build community and to reduce incidents of hate, bias, and violence. Joining the Youth Leadership Academy allows you to explore one or more of these areas.

Mission

The mission is to develop programming that is youth-developed and youth-led to engage minds for a changed tomorrow.

Vision

The vision of the YLA is to promote peer-to-peer education on civil and human rights issues while developing civil and human rights social influencers who are passionate and knowledgeable.  The YLA further seeks to develop youth-led ideas, programming, and execution across a wide range of areas.

Program Details, Goals, and Objectives

The Office of Human Rights will work with all students of the YLA through program development ideas, and implementation.  A minimum commitment from each student is at least one semester defined as September through December, January through April, and an eight-week session running in July through August. Grade Point Average and other academic standards are not a pre-requisite to entrance into the Academy as the Office of Human Rights recognizes the value of inclusion.  

The YLA commits to: prioritizing youth and young-adult empowerment; focusing on skill building in various areas; creating opportunities for project development; encouraging peer advocacy; enhancing personal and advocacy growth; promoting diversity and self-awareness; generating opportunities to establish additional support networks; and fostering overall social change influencers.  

Applications for the YLA are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

The Office of Human Rights encourages all youth who are interested in civil and human rights, and social justice issues to apply to the Academy.   

Youth Leadership Academy Logo featuring text and a rocket ship