The goal of the Youth Leadership Academy is to bridge the gap between youth and the policies being enacted today, and to create a space for them to learn how they can advocate for their concerns and communities. They also learned the process for influencing local, state, and federal representatives, and discovered possible careers in the public sector.
In early 2018, under the leadership of then board chair Jay Schenirer, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) board of directors discussed the missing connection with current regional planning and the youth who will be impacted by today’s policy decisions. After securing private funding, the SACOG board unanimously approved staff to launch the SACOG Youth Leadership Academy. SACOG partnered with the non-profit PRO Youth & Families to create and execute the program.