Youth Leadership

Youth Leadership (YL) is a ten-month leadership enrichment program for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors representing schools throughout our community. The curriculum builds a foundation of leadership skills, an awareness of community issues, an appreciation for diversity and a commitment to lifelong community service.

Due to COVID-19, Youth Leadership Program will be postponed to January 2021. We will inform you of any updates. Thank you, stay well.

2021 Day Session Schedule

January 18th - Opening Retreat
January 25th - Virtual Session
February 18th - Live Session
February 25th - Virtual Session
March 18th - Live Session
March 29th - Virtual Session
April 15th - Live Session
April 26th - Virtual Session
May 24th - Virtual Session
June 10th - Graduation

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 50 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

Each student is tasked with developing and executing a community service project in a small group of their peers. Our elaborate mentoring program seeks help from our Leadership Buffalo alumni.

Advisors meet with the students monthly to set attainable goals and ensure the project stays on task. At each meeting the advisors report on the progress of the group and the individuals. These projects are showcased at the final day session.

Program Information

Opening Retreat

Youth Leadership begins with an Opening Retreat held January 18, 2021. This retreat will provide the foundation for the year-long Youth Leadership program. The Retreat is also designed to create a team atmosphere amongst the participants. The opening retreat is mandatory and transportation is not available.

Day Sessions

Students will meet in person once a month on Thursday's for a half-day session from 12pm - 4pm, and once a month virtually on Monday's (September - May); these introduce participants to a variety of community issues. Each session will include interacting with community leaders pertaining to the day session topic allowing students to have meaningful discussion and provide ideas on how they can address these issues.

Parent and Student Orientation

A program orientation for parents and selected students will be held on July 27th and 28th. You will be sent an email to select one date to attend.


The program tuition is $750. Thanks to local funding, we are able to provide a limited number of scholarships. Please complete the scholarship request form in addition to the application for consideration. Scholarship requests are confidential and not considered during the selection process. Please contact Jenna Luehrsen at 849-2626 or for more scholarship information.