Are you ready to lead?

High school students: want to learn how your community works…and how YOU can make a difference?

Apply to be part of the next Youth Lead Charlotte-Mecklenburg class. The youth civic leadership academy connects emerging leaders from different schools and backgrounds. Join a growing network of young civic leaders!

The GenerationNation program enables high school students to collaborate over a semester to learn how the community works, meet students from different schools and backgrounds, and develop knowledge and skills needed by a new generation of Charlotte-Mecklenburg civic leaders.

You’ll learn about local government, civic leadership, the community’s history and future, and about big topics in our city and schools including economic opportunity, equity, segregation, community-police relations, economic development, city planning and growth, student voice, and more! Make friends with students from different backgrounds and build your networks, civic leadership, and social capital.

Youth Lead Charlotte-Mecklenburg 2020 is the 6th year for the innovative youth civic leadership program. Participants meet approximately twice a month January-May with peers and community leaders. After completing YLCM, participants join a growing network of emerging civic leaders and continue their civic leadership on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council.

Who can apply?

Mecklenburg County students in grades 9-11 who demonstrate leadership in school and/or community activities and are interested in learning more about the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, civic issues, and how to make a difference as a civic leader.

Interested? Tell your teacher, principal, School Leadership Team, or youth organization that you want to represent your school in the next YLCM class – and submit your application!

When is the program?

The Spring Session takes place in late January-May, with approximately 2 program sessions each month.


Sessions are centrally located in downtown Charlotte.