Youth Leadership Greater Washington

Founded in 1991, Youth Leadership Greater Washington (YLGW) provides a six-month, interactive youth leadership development and community education program for high school sophomores and juniors in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. YLGW seeks to connect youth leaders while raising their awareness of critical regional issues.


Each year Leadership Greater Washington selects proven or aspiring youth leaders from diverse backgrounds and provides them with the opportunity to learn from some of the area's most important decision makers to study various topics such as diversity, the arts, health, public service and community service. YLGW is open to public, private and charter school students across the region and engages the young leaders in professional skill-building activities so the participants walk away with the resources needed to be more effective at school, at home and within their community. Join our mailing list to receive updates about LGW and YLGW deadlines. Meet two YLGW youth leaders in a recent blog post.

YLGW youth leaders handshake exerciseYLGW is open to regional youth leaders who are:

  • High school sophomores or juniors in the Greater Washington region (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia).
  • Proven or aspiring youth leaders in school and/or community.
  • Have a strong interest in learning about and addressing the needs of the Greater Washington community.
  • Possess a desire to improve their leadership skills.


Program days are held from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM one Friday a month at locations around the Greater Washington region. Locations will be announced by email to the members of the YLGW Class of 2014 and their parents/guardians. Each session is led by Liz Wainger (’02) of Wainger Group and Michael T. Spencer (’12) of Vangarde Strategies.

  • January 24  -  Opening Session & Arts Day
  • February 21 -  Leadership Day
  • March 28  -  Diversity Day
  • April 11  -  Health Day
  • May 30  -  Public Service Day
  • June 20  -  Closing Session & Graduation


The application for the Class of 2014 deadline has passed. Applications for YLGW become available early October and are due late-November.

A completed application includes:

  • A completed application form.
  • Two letters of recommendation: one academic reference and one personal reference.
  • Authorizing signatures from applicant’s school principal and a parent/guardian.
  • A $35 application fee. If the application fee is a hardship, contact Mioshi Moses.

Applicants are notified of the Selection Committee's decision by mail in mid-December. For more information, join our mailing list to receive updates about LGW and YLGW deadlines.

TUITION/FEESYLGW group participation

Thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual investors, the participation fee of $1,200 has been waived for each student. Leadership Greater Washington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and accepts donations to defray programming costs. Invest in YLGW.