Are you ready to lead?

High school students: want to learn first-hand 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!

Collaborate 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 equity, segregation, education policy, economic opportunity, community-police relations, economic development, city planning and growth, student voice, and more! Make new friends and build your networks, civic leadership, and social capital.

After completing YLCM, participants join a growing network of emerging civic leaders and continue their civic leadership on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council. Over 200 youth have participated in YLCM since the program was launched in 2015.

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.



Sessions are held virtually and in person in downtown Charlotte (program is virtual until further notice).