Developing teen leaders for tomorrow

Posted at 2:35 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 17:35:00-04

Why is leadership training for teens important?

Three great reasons are…

•    Self-Development
•    Personal Identity
•    Community – the future of San Diego

Young people are their own best advocates for creating and implementing change, policies and programs.  They’re more receptive and have a large stake in the future. 

Adolescents make up ¼ of the world’s population, but are often left out of development goals. Investing in strong youth leadership can increase accountability and encourage commitment. 

How do you ready todays’ teens for life’s challenges? Where can they get hands on experiences to build a skillset outside of regular school programs? 

The Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) works to empower young residents in San Diego County communities by instilling commitment to make positive changes at the neighborhood level that lead to improved quality of life for all residents. This resident empowerment leads to improved environments in the neighborhoods, such as changes promoting physical activity and access to healthy food choices. 

CX3 Youth spend summers creating positive change in Southeastern San Diego. Learning how to assess need, identifying barriers, students can participate in an engagement and improvement program devoted to their local communities. 

Other recognized Live Well program partners for teen leadership development include:

Access Youth Academy: transforms the lives of underserved youth through academic enrichment, health and wellness, social responsibility and leadership.

Boys to Men Mentoring: encourages and empowers teenage boys to follow their dreams and overcome adversity through a community-based mentoring model.

Escondido Education COMPACT: offers Juvenile Diversion Services, provides case management services, youth leadership and mentoring for at-risk youth in North County in order to expand their education and career opportunities and assist them in becoming contributing citizens in our community.

HandsOn San Diego: Kids Korps engages young people ages 5 to 18 in community service and leadership development. Teens Korps is also offered for those 13 to 17.

Paving Great Futures: nonprofit organization dedicated to providing young adults, substance abusers and formerly incarcerated persons with entrepreneurial training, workforce readiness training, a job placement program and life counseling services.


When it comes to leaders in training, the YMCA of San Diego County has some amazing programs for teens.  As a non-profit, the YMCA strives to meet the needs of the community.   

The YMCA's L.I.T./C.I.T. (Leader in Training/Counselor in Training) program is an excellent opportunity for teens to learn hands-on job experience and responsibilities, while still under the supervision of our camp staff team. 

Additionally, all hours completed within L.I.T. Placement can be recorded as community service hours!

The Y doesn't just provide an incredibly fun experience for campers – two of their overnight teen camps specifically work on developing the leadership skills that campers will utilize throughout their life.

During the Y’s LIT camp program, teenagers learn what great leaders do and say through study and example.

For more information visit to contact the YMCA closest for Leader in Training/Counselor In Training programs near you.