The States Youth Leadership Program (YLP) provides income-eligible elementary, middle and high school students educational opportunities targeting individual improvements in academic, behavioral and social achievement, resulting in increased self-sufficiency.

Students who complete the program will be able to describe how good character aids in the attainment of their goals, emotional health and healthy relationships. Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills, decision making and problem solving skills.

Youth in low-income families can achieve success; statistically they are at unquestionable disadvantage. They are most often likely to remain poor, never finish school, and experience negative outcomes.  YLP provides innovative activities in the areas of personal development and character building, leadership skills, educational achievement, career exploration, and civic responsibility.

YLP best practices include family participation and broad-based community coordination, coordination that includes community action agencies, public schools, representatives of the public and private sector, the faith community, key area leaders and elected officials. Among the best practices identified in the program component are those that include reading enhancement, community volunteer services, financial planning, life skills, parliamentary procedures, employment skills training, and exposure to viable post secondary educational opportunities.

Public school (Local Education Agency or LEA) involvement is an essential component of the Youth Leadership Program.