Youth Leadership Academy

Middle Schoolers Register for the Thomas Davis Youth Leadership Academy


The Thomas Davis Youth Leadership Academy (TDYLA) is committed to providing leadership development and training to a group of motivated MIDDLE SCHOOL students who represent a diversity of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups in Mecklenburg County.

Interested nominees should:

-Be students enrolled in middle school
-Demonstrate their leadership potential for community trusteeship
-Exhibit interest in community service
-Commit to FULL PARTICIPATION AND ATTENDANCE in all Thomas Davis YLA programs.
(80% attendance is required to continue participation and graduate)
-Maintain satisfactory academic, attendance and citizenship records

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2023 -2024 Program Schedule


Due to a limited number of positions in the academy, a commitment to the program and full attendance at each activity is expected. If you cannot make a full commitment to the program, please do not apply. TDYLA will meet on Mondays this year from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

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TDYLA was developed by Carolina Panther player Thomas Davis’ Defending Dreams Foundation. The program equips middle school age youth with the practical skills needed to become productive, self-fulfilled and achievement-oriented young adults and community leaders.

The program’s goal is to support or build an educational foundation for the student and to help each participant realize and/or maximize their full potential. The hope is that TDYLA will produce leaders and role models who will lead projects that will help in the improvement of their neighborhoods and communities.