FOCUS St. Louis® is honored to shared that its Youth Leadership St. Louis (YLSL) program will receive the Frankie Muse Freeman / Norman R. Seay Commitment to St. Louis Award from the St. Louis City NAACP.
The award, named in honor of the late Attorney Frankie Muse Freeman and the late civil rights activist Norman R. Seay, is presented annually in recognition of exemplary service, distinguished leadership and commitment to improve the cultural, social and economic growth and development of the St. Louis area.
Youth Leadership St. Louis staff will be recognized at the 111th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Freedom Fund Dinner on Feb. 24. The theme for this year’s dinner is “Increasing Youth and Young Adult Engagement and Empowerment.”
“Since 1989, the Youth Leadership St. Louis program has been informing, connecting, preparing and empowering high school students to become civic and community leaders,” says Shalia Ford, FOCUS Director of Leadership Programs. “We’re thrilled to be honored alongside such other prestigious youth organizations in the region.”
An internationally recognized program of FOCUS St. Louis, YLSL brings together high school juniors from public, private, parochial, and independent charter schools across the region, as well as community-based organizations.
Upon completing the program, students report and demonstrate:
- An increase in leadership skill level and positive decision making
- Greater understanding of issues affecting the St. Louis region
- An increase in knowledge relating to diversity and willingness to interact more frequently with persons different from themselves
- A desire to become more involved in their community
Over the past 30 years, YLSL has trained more than 4,000 students from across the region. The program also provides advisors with in-depth training on process observation and facilitation skills, expertise that staff can easily transfer to use in the classroom or community.