Leadership Lexington Youth


About the Program

MISSION: Our mission is to prepare diverse individuals for leadership through education and hands-on interaction, touching upon issues and resources pertaining to our community. The program will motivate the students to think seriously about the role they’d like to play and the difference they can make in the Lexington community.

ELIGIBILITY: This unique opportunity is for 11th grade students enrolled in Fayette County Schools (private, parochial, montessori and public). Home schoolers are encouraged to apply as well. Students who are currently sophomores are encouraged to apply for the upcoming school year, making them Juniors for the 2014-15 school year.

STRUCTURE: Applications must be submitted in hard copy by March 28, 2014 to your school contact (listed on application). Recommendation letters should be included in the application when submitted to the school contact. Commerce Lexington will only accept applications from home schooled students on March 28th. Schools will turn in to Commerce Lexington a representative number of applications based on the school enrollment. Those applications will then go into the county-wide application pool for blind scoring by the LLYP Steering Committee followed by interviews at Commerce Lexington.


• Provides in-depth programs that acquaint participants with community needs, issues and resources.
• Meet and interact with local leaders and decision makers.
• Visit local business, community and education sites and facilities.
• Broadens students perspective and understanding of community involvement.
• Connects to opportunities and challenges faced in career development.
• Fosters leadership development.
• Provides opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to know one another and develop a level of mutual trust and respect.
• Creates a network of young leaders to guide the future of our community.

For more information about the Leadership Lexington Youth Program, contact Amy Carrington Stallard, program coordinator, at (859) 226-1610.

2014-15 Program Presented By:


James Motor Company / Mercedes-Benz
Sleep Outfitters
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.


Leadership Lexington Youth: Ambassadors for Change Day

Article by Kate Cox, Lafayette High School
This Leadership Lexington session was entitled “Ambassadors for Change.” Before the day officially began, the bright group of students, which I am lucky to be a part of, discussed the previous session's leadership challenge. We were to interview a leader in our community about their take on leadership, and then share what we had learned from them. Once the session began, the question was asked, what is an ambassador for change? Social activists are definitely ambassadors for change. Teachers are ambassadors for change. Are we ambassadors for change? We narrowed down the definition to an envoy who tries to make a positive difference, not necessarily on a grand scale. The key is influence, which brought up the topic of volunteering through different organizations.

In order for us to become involved locally, we were introduced to local organizations, which all aim to make a positive difference in the community. The first place we visited was the Hope Center, which houses approximately two hundred men at its main facility. They don't just provide a place to stay, but also a variety of programs intended to help people get back on their feet. The amount of good being done here definitely gave me hope. The second place we visited was the Arbor Youth Services house. Many children in need of a place to stay come here for a few nights. Some may stay for longer; however, this place certainly makes a positive impact on the children who need it most.

Next, we visited the Justice House. Pancakes are served here each Saturday morning in order to spur community involvement and to share stories. One thing that was emphasized to us is that everyone has a story, including you; so, take the time to listen and tell your own. This is especially important, because entire organizations can be created this way, such as Be Bold, where girls are empowered and aided in making tangible goals for themselves. After learning about all of these wonderful groups, we headed back to the main location of the session, the Lexington Public Library’s Northside Branch.

As we ate lunch, we learned about the organizations Foodchain and Seedleaf. Foodchain uses an aquaponic system, where the fish and plants help provide for each other. This group aims to inspire others to create such systems, which would reduce the number of miles food travels before it's eaten. Seedleaf has helped create ten community gardens, hosted cooking clubs, and promoted composting, all in order to be kinder to our environment.

Speaking of being kinder, some of the students wrote scripts before the session for anti-bullying videos. Two scripts were chosen, and we were split in half. While one group made a video, the other learned about Habitat for Humanity. On the Habitat for Humanity Homes tour, we discussed what kind of things are needed to make the homes, not only including the building itself, but also the community surrounding it. These are homes and neighborhoods, not just random houses. After this, our half of the class created a video where one girl is singled out from a group, and cyberbullied. It is not until one of the bullies stands up to the group that they all realize their error, and make amends with the victim.

To wrap up the day, we learned about different kinds of recycling, and put our knowledge to the test. With the organization Bluegrass Greensource, we separated our lunches, and some other trash from the library, into recyclable and non-recyclable items. It was very interesting to see how much of the weight from our meal could be recycled. This goes to show that making the right choice can, in itself, make a big difference. After all that we had learned during the session, some of the biggest takeaways for me was that there are many organizations in which anyone can get involved. Each one works to create a positive difference in the community, and by volunteering and working towards creating a better world, we, too, can be ambassadors for change.