Walk for Youth Leadership

We ask 100+ friends from the community to walk with us. Will you answer our call and be a #YLAHero?

A fundraising campaign for Youth Leadership Academy

Join Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) in the


Saturday May 27th, 2017

7:30 AM

Downtown Elgin

What are YLA's goals for this event?

1. Recruit 100+ walkers for the Fox Trot.

We ask residents of Elgin and nearby communities to walk in solidarity with our cadets, our staff, and all of our families in the Fox Trot.  Click here to register for the walk and select Youth Leadership Academy when you sign up.

2. Raise $3000.

If we meet this goal, we can cover the cost of leadership training for one grade level for a whole school year!

Who are YLA cadets?

They are 128 students from 7th to 12th grade living in the Elgin Community College District 509 (including U-46, D300, D301, and D303 Illinois school districts). 93% are students of color.  100% come from families living in poverty.

Many cadets have been told that going to college is not an achievable dream.  Some have been told that they do not belong in our country or, even worse, that they simply should not have been born.

Yet 100% of them live the YLA motto: “I AM on the path to success.  I AM college bound.” 

100% are being prepped for college and trained as leaders.  100% are making a difference today as our youngest leaders to stand up for the poor and disenfranchised in our community.

Cadets each year choose a social justice issue to explore and address through service learning projects.  Projects this year have included raising awareness of human trafficking in Illinois (left), opening dialogue about LGBTQIA issues in schools (middle), and taking civic action to address racial/ethnic discrimination in schools (right).

Why should I support YLA?

If you believe that the color of a child's skin should not be a barrier to being a community leader, join us.  If you believe that the contents of one's wallet should not close the door to college education, support us.  If you believe that all children deserve the chance to reach their full potential, walk with us.

How do I register to walk with YLA?

Click here to learn more about the Fox Trot, or click here to register directly for the walk.  Please make sure to select Youth Leadership Academy as the nonprofit you support when the option appears near the end of your registration.

It only costs $12 to sign up.  Choose the option to register four walkers at one time, and the fee goes down to $10 each! 

Please note:

1. Every walker registration = $8 donated by the City of Elgin to YLA!  Within 24 hours of registration, please contact Sang, our Development Specialist, via e-mail at sangyladev@gmail.com to confirm your registration.  You must register by May 17th for us to get credit for your registration.

2. Register to walk by My 17th, and you will receive a FREE t-shirt from the Fox Trot organizers and a FREE "YLA Hero" pin from YLA!  You will have one less shirt to buy this summer, and you can proudly exhibit your support for YLA all year round!

3. Registration as a runner does not count towards our goal, and it does not return a donation from the City of Elgin.  If you wish to run in the Fox Trot, please donate to us directly.

How else can I support YLA?

Walking in the Fox Trot is not the only way to support us!  You can:

1. Donate directly to us via one of the donation buttons above.

If your donations reach $50 or more by May 27th, you will receive our first ever "YLA Hero" pin

If your donations reach $100 or more by May 27th, you will also receive an exclusive YLA water bottle.

2. Become a sponsor.

Please contact Sang via e-mail at sangyladev@gmail.com by May 17th if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.  You will enjoy several opportunities to be recognized for your support for a sponsorship as low as $100!

3. Spread the word.

If you think any of your friends or family would be interested in walking with us or otherwise supporting us, please let them know about this opportunity.  Share this page via e-mail or social media and include the hashtag #YLAHero.

What impact does my support have on YLA?

Every dollar you donate helps a cadet take one more step towards becoming a college student, a community leader, and a "better person."

"YLA has been a place where I’ve made new friends and have learned so much. Not just about leadership skills but about who I am and how to become a better person.  With YLA I’ve been able to step out of my comfort zone and put my leadership training in action."  Luz, a 2015 YLA alum currently attending college.

Click on a donation button above to equip cadets like Luz with the training and support they need to reach their full potential. 

During their six years in the YLA program, cadets complete a minimum of 360 leadership training hours.  They exercise their leadership skills through service learning projects every year,  making a positive difference in Elgin and nearby communities.  YLA has a 95% retention rate of cadets who continue on from year to year.  An average of 75% of YLA graduates enroll in Elgin Community College after high school.  The remaining graduates enroll in other institutions such as University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Iowa, or Carthage College. 

Only through your generosity can YLA continue to exist and grow to prepare our young people for the future.  Show your support today!

About the Organization

Youth Leadership Academy

The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means your donations are tax-deductible!

EIN#: 364314065
Illinois tax exempt number: E9944-9544-03

YLA's mission:

To engage and inspire youth to maximize their potential to become successful community leaders through the access and responsible utilization of post-secondary education.