The Youth Civic Leadership Academy (YCLA) helps youth do the heavy lifting emerging adulthood requires by equipping youth with transferable skills, competencies, and experiential learning necessary to thrive as civic leaders, community stewards, and change-makers in the workplace and beyond. YCLA will provide opportunities for youth to access, explore, and experience career fields typically deemed off-limits for youth of color and those without significant monetary and social capital within Pittsburgh including decision-making fields like civics, education, and infrastructure.
Through a 3 phased experiential learning and project-based approach, YCLA will equip youth with insights into Pittsburgh’s past, resources of the present, and the vision of Pittsburgh's future with the mayor being a direct mentor committed to imbuing youth with a sense of belonging and relevant regional identity. Beyond a transactional or removed level of engagement merely informing youth that certain career fields exist,
YCLA provides a literal one-of-a-kind immersive and integrative experience made possible through the leadership of the City of Pittsburgh Office of the Mayor and supporting partners-the Community College of Allegheny County, the Heinz History Center, Partner4Work, and Youth Enrichment Services, Inc. (YES) YCLA scholars will not only see themselves as capable of having a career but also as being a part of Pittsburgh’s career ecosystem. Youth will earn college credit through a partnership with CCAC and be enrolled in a course that is specially designed to support their civic competency but also exposure to city departments in hopes to obtain a job given their area of interest. They will be able to participate in a circuit-style internship experience over the 11 weeks in the program.