Youth Leadership Jeffco

Youth Leadership Jeffco, empowers high school juniors in Jefferson County to explore leadership and career pathways through a partnership with the local school district and Economic Development Corporation. Now in its second year, this no-cost program offers students from Lakewood and Green Mountain High Schools the chance to identify personal strengths, explore various career options, and understand different educational paths.

"I'm Anderson, an alum of the Youth Leadership Jeffco Program, heading to Colorado School of Mines for Mining Engineering. The program's direct engagement with diverse professionals sparked my interest in engineering and building sciences, highlighted by inspiring interactions with robotics labs and hospital operations. These experiences have shaped my proactive approach to career exploration and reinforced my passion for engineering and operational management."
— Anderson R. - Senior at Green Mountain High School

Program Goals and Structure

  • Personal Development: Starts with identifying each student's unique potential and skills.
  • Real-world Exposure: Scheduled visits to local institutions and businesses to provide practical insights.
  • Leadership Interaction: Meetings with established leaders to discuss their paths and offer career guidance.

Program Outcomes and Benefits

  • Network Expansion: Opportunities to meet and learn from professionals across different fields.
  • Career Development: Structured activities aimed to match qualities in students to possible careers.
  • Educational Guidance: Exposure to various educational pathways aligning with students’ career interests.
  • Secure Futures “Money Path”: The most complete academic, career and financial planning app for teens and young adults.

“I participated in the Youth Leadership Jeffco Program in 2023 and 2024, which significantly influenced my decision to study Mining Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, Class of 2028. The program allowed me to explore various career paths through direct interactions with professionals from different sectors, providing invaluable insights into higher education, government, and industry, and fostering a proactive approach to my career development. Particularly inspiring were the experiences with Colorado School of Mines' robotics lab and the operational complexities of hospital facilities, which deepened my interest in engineering and building sciences.”

Anderson R. - Senior at Green Mountain High School

“Youth Leadership Jeffco has significantly broadened my students' horizons, exposing them to a diverse array of career possibilities and inspiring many to pursue paths they discovered through our field trips. This program has been a transformative experience, with students affirming their career choices or identifying new ones directly due to these enriching exposures.”

Shauna Condry - Professional School Counselor - Lakewood High School

“Lakewood High School's engagement with the Youth Leadership Jeffco (YLJ) program over the past two years has enabled around 15 students each year to explore a broad spectrum of post-secondary pathways, thus fostering their growth into potential community leaders. Through YLJ, these students gain invaluable exposure to diverse fields, collaborate with peers, and connect with community leaders, setting the stage for their future contributions to the Jeffco community, thanks to the program's comprehensive planning and support.”

Dan Bock - Principal - Lakewood High School

“The Youth Leadership Jeffco Program offers students a unique and purposeful exploration of career pathways, allowing them to delve into various industries, understand their daily operations, and learn from the experiences of established professionals. Each class day has been a revelatory experience, awakening undiscovered passions in students and expanding their vocational horizons.”

Nicole Kamman - Career HUB Coordinator - Green Mountain High School

“The Youth Leadership program effectively transitions students from the confines of the classroom into diverse career environments, igniting their passions and providing real-world exposure. The program's success lies in enabling students to connect with professionals' journeys, thereby humanizing the career path and demonstrating the program's excellence in bridging educational and practical experiences.”

Alex Adkisson - Construction Management Instructor - Green Mountain High School