PYLA - Pre-Collegiate Youth Leadership Academy

The Pre-Collegiate Youth Leadership Academy (PYLA) is a five-year leadership program designed to expose middle and high school students to leadership principles and practices.

PYLA consists of five half-day academies focusing on a different aspect of leadership development based on the I LEAD model.

Each academy is supplemented with take-away discussion themes, assessments and journaling activities to be conducted during the school year and summer that allow students to continue their leadership journey between each academy.


7th grade students are introduced to the basic concepts and foundations of leadership are established.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what leadership means
  • Understand the qualities of extraordinary leadership
  • Compare your definition of leadership with the definitions provided by "experts"
  • Explore common leadership approaches
  • Find your leadership "voice" by exploring your relationships
  • Plan for your continued leadership development

8th grade students learn about the concept of leadership in order to comprehend what leadership is and how leaders are important to their schools and communitites.

Learning Objectives:

  • Get to know each other and what leadership means
  • Learn from your best and worst leadership experiences
  • Understand leadership styles
  • Consider leadership roles you can play in your school and/or community
  • Plan for your continued leadership development

9th grade students establish a plan for leadership initiatives they can become involved with to effect change by identifying the key leadership skills critical to success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the four major apporaches for understanding leadership
  • Understand the five characteristics of transformational leadership
  • Develop an action plan for identifying the specific actions you can take to enhance your leadership effectiveness

10th grade students will focus on what they will do as leaders as they apply the leadership concepts they have learned to issues of need in their schools and communities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of leadership ethics
  • Consider important factors that impact ethical decision-making
  • Develop a personal code of ethics
  • Understand the factors that impact organizational trust

11th grade students reflect back on their experiences in high school and bridge to their future roles as leaders to discover the future of leadership challenges ahead.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand that developing leadership skills is an ongoing process, not a single event
  • Explore key elements of leadership development
  • Develop an action plan for identifying the specific actions you can take to enhance your leadership development