Join our team!

Who is eligible to apply?

To apply, a student must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Currently in 6th grade

  • Resides within Elgin Community College District 509 (which includes the geographical boundaries for IL School Districts U-46, D300, D301, and D303)

  • Is eligible for free or reduced lunch

How many students are selected each year?

We receive up to 200 applications each year.  We offer approximately 50 of these applicants a family interview, and from there select up to 25 student finalists to be YLA cadets.

Application Checklist

​To apply, applicants must have all of the following forms (click the links below to access each form individually, or press the APPLY button to view them all at once):

  1. Completed Student Information Form

  2. Completed Student Questions Form (separate handwritten paper must be attached)

  3. 1 Teacher Recommendation Form completed by one of the applicant's 6th grade teachers

  4. 1 Office/Principal Recommendation Form completed by the applicant's school principal/counselor/administrator

  5. 1 Adult Recommendation Form completed by an adult who knows the applicant (the adult must not be a parent or relative of the applicant)

  6. A copy of school documentation verifying that the applicant receives either free or reduced lunch

  7. Family's completed 1040 tax form from 2019 (at least the first two pages).  If 2019 tax documents are not available, then the family may submit documents from 2018; however, the family will be asked to turn in the 2019 documents no later than April 6.

  8. 1 Applicant and Parent Agreement & Commitment

Completed Application


Note that the Student Information Form and the Student Questions Form must be submitted together.

Our application process is competitive; as a result, late applications are strictly not accepted.  Applications are due by:

May 29, 2020 - Due to COVID-19 in the US, the application deadline has been moved from April 6 to May 29.

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