Youth Leadership Academy

Do you want to become a change-maker in your community?

Imagine designing and implementing a sustainable project that tackles the social justice issues you’re passionate about on a local and global scale! In this immersive year-long program, you’ll meet and learn from young activists, influencers and experts on how to make a difference in the most pressing issues in your community and the world.

The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) will place you in a supportive, engaging environment where you’ll:

  • Develop your personal leadership style
  • Learn to advocate for policy change
  • Build knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and issues around gender inequality
  • Become an expert in designing and implementing social justice projects

At the YLA, you’ll make lifelong friends and become a part of Plan’s national network of young leaders who are advancing gender equality and elevating young voices. By the end of the program, you’ll have implemented an impactful project that engages your peers and makes a difference in your community, with the support of a mentor from Plan’s Youth Advisory Board.

Check back

The 2022 YLA application is now closed. The application for the 2023 YLA will open on Nov. 1, 2023.


Program snapshot

The YLA will include a highly interactive and fun agenda to ensure you have an engaging virtual experience.

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Meet the Staff

YLA coordinator and Youth Advisory Board member bios.

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Youth Leadership Academy Member Bailey In Washington DC

Leadership development projects

As part of the program, you’ll design and implement your own project to address the social justice issue of your choice.

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After The YLA

After the YLA

After the YLA, you will be supported and engaged by a Plan Youth Advisory Board mentor, who will support you as you implement your LDP.

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“My experience here at the YLA was empowering! Not only did I engage with young people and proven leaders across the U.S., but I was able to learn what it truly means to serve globally. I loved every second of it and I can’t wait to continue to be involved!”

Youth Leader

Ava, 15

YLA 2020

What alumni are

saying about the YLA

strongly agree and agree the YLA increased their confidence to advocate for issues they care about.
strongly agree and agree the YLA increased their ability to take on leadership and advocacy roles within their community.
strongly agree and agree the YLA was a good way to meet and network with other young activists and change-makers.

About us

Plan International USA is a girls’ rights organization. Powered by supporters, we partner with adolescent girls and children around the world to overcome oppression and gender inequality, providing the support and resources that are unique to their needs and the needs of their communities, ensuring they achieve their full potential with dignity, opportunity and safety.

Learn more about us