Youth Leadership Jackson (YLJ)

The Youth Leadership Jackson program was organized in 1991. Patterned after the Leadership Greater Jackson program, Youth Leadership Jackson is a community-wide leadership program for high school sophomores and juniors and is designed to expose young leaders to the various elements that combine to form a strong and dynamic metropolitan area.

Program Description

Youth Leadership Jackson is a leadership development program that trains, motivates, and increases the awareness of selected high school sophomores and juniors through leadership training, community-oriented seminars, and interaction with adult leaders who model exemplary citizenship and service to community.
The program outcome is confident young leaders who are committed to advancing and positively impacting the Metro Jackson area.
Click here to apply.

Program History

Many members of the award winning Leadership Greater Jackson program and the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership felt that a similar program for high school students could be beneficial to the youth in the area and to the community a whole. The founding leaders of the program found the following to be true.

  • High School students from different sections of the community have few opportunities to know on another.
  • The high school curriculum contains little in-depth information about the Metro Jackson area. Many high school students need to feel that Metro Jackson (Hinds, Madison, and Rankin Counties) holds a challenge and opportunity for their future.
  • High school students need more opportunities to develop leadership abilities and to interact with adult leaders.

A Board of Governors was formed to design a program to address these needs. The first Youth Leadership Jackson class began in September of 1991 and the program has continued to develop strong and dynamic leaders.


The mission of Youth Leadership Jackson is to inspire and develop young citizens of the Metro Jackson area to be dynamic and effective leaders committed to utilizing their talents, diversity, and creativity for the betterment of our community.

Applications for the 2023-2024 Youth Leadership Jackson Program have closed.