YLDP kicks off another year


Emmy Wren, Chelsea Buzz Reporter

On Tuesday, the Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP) had their opening ceremony at Thompson High School.

The Youth Leadership Development Program is a program designed for juniors and seniors in the state of Alabama that have been recognized by their school as having good character and what it takes to be a leader. This program is based upon three pillars: faith, character and patriotism. 

In order to be in YLDP, the students must fill out a resume application and a statement of interest explaining information about themselves and why they want to be in the program.

“Once students have turned in their resume, the committee of teachers meet and take a look at the students who have applied,” said Brett Woodward, a Chelsea High School guidance counselor. “They then choose the students based on who they think will be a good representation for the school, and who they think will be successful and a good fit for the program.” 

Every year there are four seniors and two juniors chosen to represent Chelsea High School. The four Seniors selected this year were Sydney Bridgeman, Catherine Glaze, Cooper Griffin, and Rylie Speed. The two juniors selected were Alexandria Redd and Ashley Wren.

There are many opportunities given to students who participate in the program. Some of these include getting to work with and meet with students from all over the Birmingham area and getting to hear from speakers of different fields and careers. These include college Chancellor’s, CEO’s, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients, and even an astronaut.

The students of the program each have responsibilities that they are responsible for. These responsibilities include doing their part in projects, reading assignments, service projects, and gaining points. Every year YLDP hosts the Walk for Warriors. For this project, students are to split up into groups called companies and work to raise money as a team. The money then goes to funding scholarships for Green Berets.

“The program also has a point system set up where students in the program can earn points based on their participation in the meetings, events, or the projects that the program offers”, Woodward said.

When the students become seniors, depending on how many points they have, they can possibly earn scholarships to the list of schools the program is partnered with.