Youth civic leadership academy for students in grades 9-11

Who can be a civic leader? YOU!

Apply to be part of the next Youth Lead Charlotte-Mecklenburg group.

  • Learn first-hand how Charlotte works.
  • Explore important community issues…and your role in creating possible solutions
  • Make friends with students from different schools. Meet school and community leaders.
  • Build your knowledge, skills, and networks for success and leadership now and into college, career, and civic life.
  • Find out about careers connected to local government and civic leadership.
  • Be a civic difference maker on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council and additional leadership roles across CMS and your city.

We are excited to partner with City of Charlotte this year to provide this youth civic leadership academy!

Who can apply?

Charlotte area 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 a mix of virtual and in person activities. The next group will learn and meet January-June 2024. Due to a competitive selection process, early applications are encouraged.



Over 300 youth have participated in YLCM since the program was launched in 2015, collaborating to learn about local government, civic leadership, the community’s history and future, and about big topics in our city and schools including equity, opportunity, race, education, economic development, city planning and growth, student voice, and more.  Participants make new friends and build your networks, civic leadership, social capital, knowledge, and impact.