Youth Leadership

Youth Leadership (YL) is a leadership enrichment program tailored for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from various schools across our community. Our curriculum is designed to establish a solid foundation of leadership skills, cultivate awareness of community issues, foster appreciation for diversity, and instill a lifelong commitment to community service.


Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now open!

The application deadline is October 4, 2024.


Please see application details below.




2023-2024 Day Session Schedule 

November 10, 2023 – Opening Retreat 
  • Getting to know you and your fellow Youth Leadership class
November 30, 2023 – Growing Buffalo
  • What makes a leader and how you can activate your community
December 14, 2023 – Social NetWorthing
  • Combining networking and social capitol - connect people, opportunities and ideas
January 15, 2024 – MLK Day of Service
  • Give back to your community with the Youth Leadership class
January 18, 2024 – Adulting 101 (virtual)
  • Social Media for Young Leaders
February 8, 2024 – Cultural Connections
  • Discover the arts, culture, tourism and history of Buffalo
March 7, 2024 – Justice for All
  • Explore how criminal and social justice work symbiotically
March 18, 2024 – Succeeding School (virtual)
  • Education after high-school - trades, military, college and more 
April 11, 2024 – Career Coaching
  • Resumes, interviews and elevator speeches
May 16, 2024 – Final Day Session
June 13, 2024 - Graduation
  • A time to dress up and celebrate your hard work this year


View the 2024-2025 Schedule Here

Exploring What Matters

Students meet once a month to explore Buffalo in an educational way to increase appreciation and awareness of our community.

We focus on topics such as economic development, social justice, arts and cultures, diversity and entrepreneurship.

Developing Leaders

YL targets a diverse group of students who have leadership potential but who may or may not have had experience in positions of leadership within their schools.

Public, private and charter schools are represented by a group of 40 students each year. This program values diversity and aspires to include as many different high schools as possible.

Being a Better Leader

The program environment is a non-traditional form of learning. The city is our "classroom".

Throughout the year, we perform leadership development trainings in various topics including, team building, diversity, business ethics and social etiquette. The year focuses on Servant Leadership traits and relies on experiential learning.

Giving Back

Students are exposed to the multiple service based organizations in our area. Throughout the year, students will learn about ways they can provide assistance in our community, and take action to create a better Buffalo.  

Program Information



All applicants must fulfill the following requirements to be considered for the program:

Submit your complete application by September 12 to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon gift card.


Opening Retreat

Youth Leadership commences with an Opening Retreat scheduled for October. This retreat serves as the cornerstone of the program, establishing its fundamental principles. Designed to foster a sense of teamwork among participants, the retreat is mandatory for all attendees.


Day Sessions

Students will convene monthly for half-day, in-person sessions. These gatherings aim to familiarize participants with a range of community issues and foster their leadership development. Each session will feature engagement with community leaders relevant to the day's topic, enabling students to engage in meaningful discussions and offer ideas on addressing these issues.

View the 2024-2025 Schedule Here



The program tuition is $750. Thanks to our sponsors, we are able to offer a limited number of scholarships. To apply for financial assistance, please complete the separate financial assistance application in addition to the regular program application. Please note that these requests are confidential and will not be considered during the selection process.