Youth Leadership Program (YLP) is a skill-development initiative that serves middle and high school youth in Johnson and Linn Counties. The program works with young people who exhibit great leadership potential, but face adversity at home or in the classroom.
Children in YLP are nominated into the program by their school personnel. Kids who participate in Children of Promise One-on-One Mentoring are also eligible to join Youth Leadership when they enter middle school. Participants have the option to continue with YLP activities year-after-year until high school graduation. This ongoing service allows children the chance to form lasting, supportive friendships with youth from various schools as well as YLP staff and volunteers.
Youth Leadership offers the perfect outlet for community members to volunteer short-term. We welcome groups or individuals to visit YLP activities to engage with our children about possible career paths, college majors, or other life-skill inspiration. Your story may be exactly what a struggling child needs to hear! Interested visitors may contact us at IowaChildrenOfPromise@gmail.com to schedule.
Youth Leadership is offered at no cost to the youth or their families. Family-fun activities such as University of Iowa sporting events, arts and cultural events, and family potlucks are offered several times during the year. Free transportation is provided to all Youth Leadership activities.
Youth Leadership has two major components:
Summer Enrichment Program, “Summer Camp”
Our Summer Enrichment Program, what we call “Summer Camp,” is a five-week daytime camp that focuses on educating young people about the dangers of risky behavior, the importance of community stewardship, and building healthy social skills. University of Iowa student athletes work as counselors in the program, and act as inspiring role models for our youth. Research-based curriculums are integrated into the program design.
“If I did not come to Children of Promise Youth Leadership’s summer camp I would probably spend my time getting into trouble and doing bad things, hang out with the wrong people. This is a great place for kids that have had a hard time.” ~ Child of Promise, 8th grader
Small Group Mentoring
Small groups of four youth meet at least every other week with a Youth Leadership staff member or community volunteer mentor. The groups focus on peer relationships, building social skills, the importance of volunteering in their community, and healthy recreational activities when school is out.