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Why Support YLA

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At YLA, we serve Elgin community students on their journey into college and the post-college world.  100% of our cadets come from families of low income, and 93% of our cadets are people of color with about 85% 1st generation college students.

And above all, 100% of our cadets are living the YLA motto:

"I AM on the path to success.

I AM college-bound."

These are the words that our cadets thrive by as they work hard in our YLA program to become scholars and leaders in the community.  During their six years in the program, each of our cadets complete a minimum of 360 leadership training hours.  They exercise their leadership skills through service learning projects every year, making a positive difference in Elgin and nearby communities.  And after they graduate from our program, our cadets continue to use the skills, experience, and know-how they have developed in their next endeavors, in college and beyond. 

Help us raise the next generation of YLA scholars and leaders.  If you believe that the color of a child's skin should not be a barrier to being a community leader, join us. 


If you believe that the contents of one's wallet should not close the door to college education, support us. 


If you believe that all children deserve the chance to reach their full potential, walk with us.  


Only through your generosity can our program continue to exist and grow, and to prepare our young people for the future.

Show your support today, and be a YLA Hero!


Donate now!

Donate now

Please select a giving level:

$15: 1 hour of


for a cadet

$100: 1 year of

supplies for a service learning project

$30: 1 hour of leadership training for a cadet

$300: 1 field trip for
25 cadets to tour a regional college or university

$50: 1 hour of professional tutoring for a cadet

General Donations

Other ways to support us

There are many ways that you can become a part of the YLA team:

  • Become a donor, sponsor, or partner of the YLA

  • Become a member of the YLA's staff or board

  • Volunteer

  • When you shop Amazon, use AmazonSmile.  Check Youth leadership Academy as your donation organization

If you are interested in participating in any way, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Other ways


Al’s Cafe

Andy’s Frozen Custard

Arabica Café

Beef Villa

Blue Box Café

Café Roma

Chicago Bears

Chicago Cubs

Chicago Pizza Tours

Chicago White Sox

City of Elgin

City of Elgin Parks & Recreation Department

Dairy Queen and Orange Julius

Danny’s Pizza on Douglas

Dental Works

Elgin Historical Society

Elgin Public House

Fannie May Candies

Fire + Wine

Fox Valley Range

Friends of YLA


Grumpy Goat Tavern

LazerMaxx Family Fun Center

Legit Dogs and Ice

Little Pops

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

M.A. Burger & Shakes Company

MOD Pizza

Office Depot OfficeMax


Outback Steakhouse

Pastigel Bakery

Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Randall’s Pancake House & Restaurant

R & B Tobacco

Rosati’s Pizza

Sta. Theresa Dental Clinic

Spirels Yogurt Delites

Starbucks Coffee Company

Town & Country Gardens

Village Pizza & Pub

White Cottage Pizzeria & Ristorante

Ziegler’s ACE Hardware

YLA is sincerely grateful to all of our donors who contributed their time, goods, and services to make this event possible.  Please show your support by patronizing our donors!

Thank you so much! 

Extravaganza Donors

2021 Granters

  • Elgin Community College (ECC) Foundation 

  • Grand Victoria Foundation 

  • EFS Foundation

  • Elgin Township 

  • Kiwanis of Elgin 

  • Walmart 

  • Best Buy

  • Northrop Grumman

  • Harting 

  • Elgin Police Department

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