Youth Leadership Council

What is the Youth Leadership Council?
Talented, committed, and inspiring youth between the ages of 12 and 17 participate in the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) – an intensive program in civic engagement and social justice. Participants are trained on leadership, community development, and self-empowerment, with the goal of creating an independent team that votes on and leads its own projects in the community.

What does the Youth Leadership Council Do?
With guidance, the Youth Leadership Council discusses problems in the community, and thinks out solutions to fix each problem. Teens work together to implement their vision of a solution. They may team up with community organizations, government figures, the police, and schools to create positive solutions to problems that they encounter in their everyday lives. While the youth have the final say in the project they choose to implement in the community, some examples may include:

  • Organizing community events against violence and bullying
  • Advocating for a community center, summer jobs/internships, and educational supports
  • Supporting alternatives to detentions and suspensions, such as peace circles
  • Leading anti-violence workshops in their school, community center, or church
  • Hosting public meetings between police and students/residents to improve mutual trust and communication

Why join the Youth Leadership Council?
The YLC addresses issues directly, empowers youth to plan and execute their own initiatives, and supports them with the mentoring, leadership tools, and civic engagement skills. In addition, all Youth Leadership Council participants will experience the following direct benefits:

  • Meet like-minded students who have a VOICE in the community
  • Build leadership & problem-solving skills
  • Earn credit for community service hours
  • Build your resume and/or college application
  • Create programs in the community that YOUTH want to see

For more information, or to join the Youth Leadership Council, please contact ASE at 773-221-8908.

Right photo credit: Julia Hunter,

“I’ve never been apart of a mural making project, it made me feel like my voice mattered. We got to draw out what other people think about Southsiders and got to create a real representation of who we really are.”

-Dejarae Keenan, YLC leader & Baker College Prep student