Youth Leadership Academy
YOUth Shape the Future

Graphic with text: "2022 YLA Youth Leadership Academy Apply Now!"

Are you a teen in the Sacramento region who is interested in learning how to make a difference in your community? Do you want to learn how to affect policy in your city? Are you looking for something to add to your college applications? Apply now to be part of the 2022 Youth Leadership Academy!

The SACOG Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is an opportunity for students to:

  • Learn how communities are shaped by people and policies.
  • Discover career opportunities in government, planning, and civic engagement.
  • Connect with elected officials, community activists, organizers, and non-profit leaders.
  • Engage in local and regional government.
  • Have fun and be collaborative with students from around the region.

YLA bridges the gap between youth and local leaders. The program provides students with helpful knowledge and skills that are part of the ongoing process of decision making and connects them to local organizations and community members who bring much needed change. With this program, young leaders learn about the intersection of different areas, like transportation planning, health, and education, and how they impact everyday life. Watch this video from the 2021 academy to learn more! 

Questions? Email

The application deadline has been extended! Apply by October 24 at 11:59 pm. 

Frequently Asked Questions

2022 YLA Schedule

Extended! October 24, 2021 Applications due
November 5, 2021 Notification of acceptance
January 15, 2022 2022 YLA Academy kick off! 
June 18, 2022 Graduation


Who is eligible to participate? 

Students who are in high school, grades 9-12, and live in one of these counties: El Dorado*, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, or Yuba.

*Excludes the Tahoe Basin (South Lake Tahoe area)

How long is the YLA program? 

The YLA is a six-month program, from January 15, 2022 – June 18, 2022.  

How much time with the YLA require each month? 

Students will be required to commit up to 15 hours a month and attend bi-weekly workshops (every other Saturday)

Will we be meeting in person or virtually? 

At the moment, we are planning to do a hybrid approach for the program, with one in person meeting a month. However, we will pay close attention to any new health directives and make sure we are all safe and comfortable. 

What will I gain from this program? 

  • The ability to understand the complex decision making processes in our local and regional government
  • A better understanding of where to go to make change in your community
  • A stronger understand of social justice and how it plays in your community
  • A chance to build on your existing skills as a leader
  • Meet other students from across the six-county region that care about the same things you do – making your communities a better place.