• Youth Leadership Academy

    Youth Leadership Academy


    Youth Organizations

    About Us

    The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is a unique program providing a constructive, mentoring environment for students from low-income backgrounds from Illinois school districts U-46, D300, D301 and D303 who are statistically less likely to attend college than their non-low-income peers.

    The Youth Leadership Academy mission is to engage and inspire youth to maximize their potential to become successful community leaders through the access and responsible utilization of post-secondary education.

    Students are selected during the 2nd semester of 6th grade and begin Academy activities at the start of 7th grade. The program continues through 12th grade and ends with two years free tuition to Elgin Community College. Approximately 25 students are selected each year during their 6th grade year based on their applications, recommendations and family interviews.

    Students participate in the Academy by attending leadership training sessions held two Saturday mornings per month starting in August through May at Elgin Community College. These leadership training sessions focus on preparing each student to enroll in college, complete a college degree and be engaged as community leaders.

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    Rep/Contact Info

    Ms. Helane Aghayere
    Program Coordinator
    • Phone: (847) 214-6965
    Christine Padilla
    Administrative Assistant
    • Phone: (847) 214-6965
    Ms. Kathy-Ann Pegues
    Executive Director
    • Phone: (847) 214-6965
    Wes Scott
    YLA Board President
  • SBA disaster assistance for the recent civil unrest SBA disaster assistance for the recent civil unrest

    In response to a request by Governor Pritzker, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza issued a disaster declaration, making low-interest loans available to cover uninsured or underinsured losses related to civil unrest. Anyone affected by these events – homeowners or renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations – is eligible to apply.

    How To Apply

    U.S. SBA Fact Sheet - Disaster Loans

    News Release




  • We're so proud to be a member of this community, and enormously appreciative of the hard work the chamber has done to help local businesses. You're an invaluable resource, and one we're thankful for! Midwest Bone & Joint Institute 

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