YMCA Junior Leadership Dayton Program prepares today's youth for future leadership roles within the community and increases the quality and quantity of men and women capable of accepting leadership roles in various community organizations. Participating high school juniors are exposed to a variety of social and economic issues and opportunities facing the Miami Valley. The goal is to develop a source of informed, civic-oriented leaders interested in directing the future of the Miami Valley.
The program consists of seven (7) full-day sessions held one day per month from September through April. The program also includes an orientation, a retreat, and a graduation. Each session, held at various community locations, focuses on selected topics representing key leadership skill areas. During each session, participants are introduced to issues by means of lectures, on-site visits, group discussions and simulations. In each case, the program is designed to address specific topics rather than vague concepts.
There are 43 students from 15 area high schools participating in the 2014-2015 program year. Participants must be motivated and committed to becoming a leader in the community. One required element of the leadership program is the development of a community service project within assigned groups as the program progresses. Three (3) college credit hours from Wright State University are received upon completion of the program. Students apply the spring of their sophomore year, are interviewed and must be selected to participate. The program then runs throughout their junior year of high school.