Youth Advocacy And Leadership Coalition

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The Youth Advocacy and Leadership Coalition (YALC), a civic leadership program for youth ages 13-17 in Cuyahoga County. The YALC develops young adult leaders by training and supporting them in advocating for youth issues and links them to their communities through service-learning experiences.

For the past twelve years, YALC has worked hard to bring issues affecting the youth of Cuyahoga County to light. Annually, YALC has connected over 1,000 13-17-year-old youth with opportunities to advocate for issues. Through peer to peer learning, YALC teens serve our communities with service projects and educational activities and provide a voice to other teens in our county. Some highlights of what we offer to teens include:

  • Professional development opportunities through monthly meetings (resume writing, social media use, budgeting, public speaking, time-management etc.)
  • Present at State and National Conferences (Ohio 4-H Conference, National 4-H Summit Series, Universities Fighting World Hunger Conference)
  • Network with peers from throughout Cuyahoga County to discuss desired changes to local government/community
  • Provide opportunities to fulfill community service requirements through service projects at local organizations
  • Positive youth development programming through 4-H curriculum
  • Meet leaders in their field through career days and offsite visits to local non-profits and businesses
  • Adult mentorship through partnerships with caring adult volunteers who serve as “guides on the side”
  • Develop and lead workshops for peers at Annual Teen Summit
  • Youth-led programming (teens decide the topics we cover and then teach their peers)
  • College visits
  • $300 stipend for teens who serve in leadership roles
  • RTA bus passes and gas cards to get to all events
  • Food at every meeting


YALC has moved many of activities to Zoom while students practice social distancing. Teens are welcome to engage with YALC virtually and to sign up for our program here.

YALC is open to any teen in Cuyahoga County. There are no application requirements to be a YALC member, and teens will get access to workshops on "adulting," STEAM topics, cooking classes and more. We are currently working to add more virtual programs based on youth interests.