Civic Youth Leadership Academy
Civic Youth Leadership Academy (CYLA) is a program that engages and supports the voice of youth in Neighborhood Councils and civic life overall. This program is a competitive, application-based, six session program that provides training to youth so that they may become effective civic leaders. The curriculum is focused on advancing key skills in organizing, securing permits, and generally interacting with the City along with other core leadership skills. It is now operated by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WE’RE TRYING TO SOLVE?
CYLA was developed to bridge the gap between youth community activists, City government, and neighborhood councils. Although neighborhood council youth seats are available, very few youth in the City pursue these opportunities. Civic Youth was designed to improve access to City Hall through hands-on practical training for young Angelenos and help provide insight into how young people can engage with their communities and their City.
WHAT IS THE INITIATIVE
The in-depth courses focus on key areas of study important to today’s leaders, such as Public Speaking and Human-Centered Design. It also included a capstone project where student teams were tasked with organizing neighborhood clean-ups Citywide. Speakers and workshop leaders included experts in community building, public speaking, effective communication, understanding local government, and practical ways to contribute to your Neighborhood Council. The program has now graduated more than 140 young Angelenos ages 16-21, and continues to grow.