YLA Kicks Off September 14-18!

  1. Click Here to Join us on Zoom at 1PM, Monday - Friday for awesome one-hour sessions to build a leadership mindset.
  2. Add yourself to the inaugural YLA Facebook Group and Google Classroom to participate with other student leaders in discussions!
  3. Any question on how to conenct? Ask Sam! sgaretson@montana.edu

What is the Youth Leadership Academy?

The YLA is a unique opportunity for GEAR UP (GU) students to learn and explore leadership concepts and how to apply them at school in a tangible way through service learning projects. This year GU partnered with Paradigm Shift to create this awesome opporutnity.YLA students will...

  1. form relationships with other GEAR UP students from across the state
  2. travel for a yearly training,
  3. participate in monthly webinars
  4. implement a service-learning project at school!

Interested participants make a 1-year extra-curricular commitment to the YLA learning community. Service projects take place throughout students' junior and senior years.

How Can I Get Involved?

Eligible students include current 10th and 11th graders. Students must commit to building a service learning project in school year 2020-2021. All students should be involved in GEAR UP programming, excited to fully participate, able to behave appropriately in an adult conference setting, and display leadership qualities inside and outside the classroom.


Students must complete a (1) short application, (2) writing sample, and(3) letter of recommendation. Please submit all to their GU liaison.

  • All student applications must be submitted to GEAR UP by February 15.
  • 2 student applicants will be selected from each GU school.
  • Students will be notified of selection by March 1.
  • GU will provide enrollment forms for each student and family to complete by April 1.


The following forms must be completed by each student to participate in the program.

Information & Handouts