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.

2013-14 Program Sponsors:


Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.

Leadership Youth Class Members Reflect on Program, Celebrate Graduation

Article by Kelsey Folsom, P.L. Dunbar High School
On September 4th, 2013, forty-four young people stepped into the Carnegie Center with no idea what they were in for. Each of them had written their essays, been interviewed, and received a letter confirming their acceptance to the 2013-2014 Leadership Lexington Youth Program. Some knew each other, but for most of us, we walked in and were surrounded by mostly strangers. And now, eight months later, we walk out of Leadership Lexington as a family.

Wednesday, April 9th, was our Leadership Lexington Youth graduation day. We started with an icebreaker, followed by a lecture from Grace Gorrell, a Leadership Studies Professor at the University of Kentucky, in which she discussed ethics, beliefs, and morals with us, and talked about what each one meant from a leadership standpoint.

We then took a brief break before reconvening for a review with Jason Cummins, where we gave feedback on the year and reflected on our experiences as students of the program. By then, the morning had flown by, and the time had come for the graduation lunch and ceremony. We took seats with our parents and ate while Lexington Mayor Jim Gray addressed the class. He spoke of Lexington’s history and what the program means to the community.

Next, students Tia The, Ross Boggess, and Meghana Kudrimoti spoke of their personal experience with LLYP and what the program meant to them. Amy Carrington and Meagan Sisk then presented each LLYP graduate with a plaque and congratulated us all on our completion of the program. Finally, the 2013-2014 Distinguished Leader award was presented to Sahil Nair of P.L. Dunbar High School, who was selected by his peers, because of his active participation and great example of the LLYP program. We then gathered for a group photo and were given “yearbooks,” containing the articles as well as pictures from throughout the year. Then, came the time for our bittersweet goodbyes as we left the program that had become such a dear part of our lives, as we left our “family.”

As many LLYP now-graduates stated at the graduation ceremony, “Leadership Lexington was a place I could relax and recharge with people just like me.” While LLYP taught its students valuable leadership skills needed to make a difference in our community, it also taught us about ourselves, and the kind of leaders, and people, that we truly want to become. Through an excellent ceremony organized by exceptional people, we concluded a year of life, learning, and friendship in a way we will never forget.