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Funding for Award-Winning Youth Civic Leadership Program


Media contact: Miranda Pomiecko: (216) 698-2546; mpomiecko@cuyahogacounty.us

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County is continuing programming for the Youth Advocacy Leadership Coalition (YALC). The County’s Board of Control last week approved $105,347 in funding to extend programming for one year. The YALC is a civic leadership program for youth ages 13 to 18 in Cuyahoga County that develops young adult leaders by training and supporting them in advocating for youth issues and links them to their communities through service learning experiences.

“We are proud to be part of this important initiative that is helping our local youth understand the value of contributing to their communities, which is essential for them to thrive in their transition from adolescence to adulthood,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “YALC provides students with the ability to assess needs of the community and facilitate change through advocacy and service.”

Three-hundred students are currently participating in YALC. There are members from all 11 Cuyahoga County Council districts.

“As an avid supporter of the YALC program, I understand the importance of maintaining a program of this magnitude that enhances the leadership ability of our local youth and provides them with substantial learning experiences within the community. I am ecstatic that Cuyahoga County will continue to fund this valuable program,” stated Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Yvonne M. Conwell.

Goals of the programming and membership experience include:
  • Increased leadership through experience on teams 
  • Opportunities to improve interpersonal communication in a professional setting 
  • Improved self-confidence 
  • Working on a team with partners at local, state, and national levels 
  • Understanding of local government and policy 
  • A platform for youth voice and choice 
  • Preparation for academic growth and development 

Ninety-five percent of members stay committed to community service and advocacy beyond YALC and high-school graduation. On average, 20-25 percent of previous YALC youth leaders donate time or participate in programming when they are home from college.

Cuyahoga County provides funding for YALC through the Family and Children First Council, and it is managed by The Ohio State University’s Extension Office.

Visit the Youth Advisors page to learn more about the program.