About Youth Leadership America

Empowering the Next Generation of Community Leaders

Featured Speakers



Olympic Gold Medalist, Motivational Speaker, Fastest Woman Alive
Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter,  is a top American sprinter with three Olympic medals and a world record. Carmelita found her love for speed in high school. Upon graduating, she signed with California State University, Dominguez Hills’ track team and became the University’s first U.S. Olympic trials qualifier and went on to become the most decorated track & field athlete in the history of the school, all while achieving her degree in physical education. During the 2012 Olympics, Carmelita anchored the US Olympic 4x100m relay team that smashed the old world record by more than half a second allowing the team to take home Olympic gold. Carmelita became the first athlete to ever medal in both the 100m and 200m race at an Olympic Games, taking home both the Silver in the 100m and Bronze in the 200m.

The Summit & Expo

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Youth Leadership America (YLA) announces the Inaugural Youth Leadership Summit & Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. With the support of the city of Anaheim, YLA aims to provide over 20,000 high school students and their parents with this unique, one-day opportunity.

The complimentary one-day event takes place on August 20, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and will feature multiple workshops ranging from mental health and well-being to public speaking and networking.

“YLA is ecstatic about this event because it’s going to be planned and run by high school students for their peers, which is the foundation of our organization,” says John Nguyen, co-founder of Youth Leadership America. “We’re committed to supporting the youth board as they put together an amazing event.”

Summit & Expo Goals:

  1. Celebrate the power and potential of our youth.
    • For high school students in Orange County.
  2. Connect youth with others in a positive youth leadership environment.
    • This event is put together by YLA youth members under the supervision of adult advisors and mentors.
  3. Connect youth with their local community, specifically to organizations that:
    • Serve youth and their families.
    • Nonprofits in need of youth volunteers.
    • Nonprofits that provide leadership development opportunities and/or scholarships.
    • Expo exhibition is only for government agencies and nonprofits that serve youth (high school students) or provide opportunities for their development.
  4. Provide empowering workshops for students and parents.

Some tentatively planned workshops include:

  • Find Your Purpose
  • Maximizing Your Productivity
  • Mental Wellness
  • Career Pathways & Planning
  • Building Personal & Financial Equity
  • Finding Your Voice: Public Speaking
  • 3 C's: Care, Connect, Change - Community Resources
  • Volunteerism: Servant Leadership
  • Teamwork & Diversity
  • Parent & Family Empowerment (Community + School + Parent + Student)

“I’m very excited because it’s an ambitious project that will finally be able to connect our youth in one event with lots of opportunities for personal and professional growth for both students and parents,” said Victoria Rodriguez, a sophomore at Loara High School and an Anaheim Youth Commissioner. “I’m really looking forward to collaborating with my peers across the city to put together this free event.”

The summit will also include an expo hall (which opens at 12:00 PM) for students to network with other students as well as colleges, universities, and youth serving non-profit organizations and businesses. In addition, there will be a parent-track of workshops, specifically for parents and guardians of high school students.

“Empowering youth is one of the greatest investments we can make,” says the Anaheim Mayor. “Anaheim is proud to support the inaugural Youth Leadership Summit and Expo to better prepare the next generation of leaders for the challenges and opportunities they’ll encounter. This event promises to be engaging and meaningful for the academic, professional, and personal development of our most important asset ― our youth.”


  • 9:00 AM Registration
  • 10:00 AM - Keynote & Welcome
  • 10:45 AM - 12:30 PM - Workshops
  • 12:30 PM - Lunch/Expo Hall
  • 2:00 - 4:00 PM - Workshops
  • 4:00 PM - Closing Keynote
  • 12:00 - 5:00 PM - Expo Hall Open

Our Organization

Youth Leadership America is the outgrowth of Youth Leadership Anaheim, a program that was founded in 2002 by a group of high school students in Anaheim, California. These youth created a leadership development program that was operated by high school students for high school students.

In January of 2006, with the support of our youth members, community partners, and Youth Leadership Anaheim, Youth Leadership America was officially founded as its own 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. To this day, we continue to excel as Anaheim’s premier youth leadership program and aggressively pursue our vision of exporting our community-centric leadership development model throughout all of America.

Everyone who is a part of YLA embraces a culture of personal development through peer-to-peer support and community engagement. YLA focuses on youth as the powerful leaders who run the organization.

Partners & Sponsors

Anaheim Unified High School District
Garden Grove Unified High School District
Santa Ana Unified High School District
Cal State Fullerton Logo
City of Anaheim Logo
BetterUp Logo