2017 Florida Youth Leadership Academy

images put together for Florida Youth Leadership Academy

Artwork by the Florida Youth Leadership Academy

The Florida Youth Leadership Academy (FYLA) was established in 2008 under the direction of Florida's Department of Children and Families’ Child Welfare Leadership Program (CWLP) and Connected by 25 (Cby25).  This idea began as part of the Child Welfare Leadership Program’s project.  Class III of the CWLP chose to create the Florida Youth Leadership Academy as their statewide project.  The group believed that the positive experience they and other CWLP graduates have benefited from could be replicated in a mentorship program for youth involved in the child welfare system.

The 2017 Mentor and Mentee Application period is closed.  Please check back in November for the 2018 FYLA applications.

Youth are matched and paired with an adult mentor to engage in activities that reinforce the learning goals and objectives of FYLA.  Youth and mentors meet at least monthly and travel together for each of the five academy meetups over a nine-month period.  The academy meetups enable youth to develop skills necessary to maintain healthy relationships, employment, and education.  The meetups include camping, college tours, a visit to the State Capitol, and attending PeaceJam.  At the close of the nine-month period, youth participate in the annual Child Protection Summit where the FYLA graduation takes place. 

FYLA Class of 2016 at Tallahassee Museum
FYLA Class of 2016 completing
the Tallahassee Museum's High-Ropes Course.

Youth will also develop skills necessary to be an employed, productive and independent adult, including:

  • communication/public speaking skills,
  • conflict resolution skills,
  • advocacy skills,
  • leadership skills,
  • relationship skills,
  • interpersonal skills, and
  • community project skills.


The 2016 FYLA graduates at the Child Protection Summit.