About Thomas Davis Youth Leadership Academy
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.
TDYLA uses the TRRFCC Character Building Model. There are six components associated with this model: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. These components are a general representation of the characteristics that many academic institutions look for when recruiting students for acceptance into their programs and when awarding scholarships and grants.
The program involves the whole-child, extended family and the community. It incorporates a school-to-work focus, academic skill development and leadership development. Guest speakers are invited to give presentations, field trips are regularly scheduled to expose the participants to the rich resources surrounding their community, and community service opportunities are planned as well.
TDYLA is a program where students will learn the value of healthy nutrition as well as life, public speaking, writing, debate, critical thinking and conflict/resolution skills.