Excellence in Youth Leadership Program

  • Nominate a Student Today! 

    Nominations are Due April 23, 2021

    The Excellence in Youth Leadership Program

    The Excellence in Youth Leadership Program recognizes youth throughout Defiance County for their leadership skills. Anyone can nominate a youth to be recognized. All nominees are recognized and receive a certificate, medal and gift. One student from each grade category is selected by a panel of volunteer judges from the community to receive a “Make a Difference Grant”. This grant gives students funds to spend to complete a random act of kindness, make a charitable donation to a cause important to them or start something good for the community.  

    Nominate a Youth in Kindergarten – 8th Grade

    Everyone has genius and everyone can be a leader. Nominations may be submitted by a student, a parent, teacher, youth group advisor or anyone who wants to honor a special youth for their leadership contributions to the community. Nomination forms can be downloaded or completed online.  

    Why the Excellence in Youth Leadership Program?

    Growing evidence* suggests leadership skills could be as crucial as academic skills in terms of important life outcomes, and the expectation for our youth to develop these skills is growing. The Ohio Department of Education identifies the importance of leadership development in its recently released Strategic Plan for Education. Leadership and reasoning skills is one of the four identified learning domains. The Strategic Plan states “Future success will not depend just on academic content knowledge. It will require students to exhibit leadership skills.” With the growing importance and expectation for our community to emphasize youth leadership development, we believe there should be an event in place to recognize and reward youth leadership.

    *In the paper titled The Character Factor: Measures and Impact on Drive and Prudence, authors Reeves, Venator, and Howard write: “A growing body of empirical research demonstrates that people who possess certain character strengths do better in life in terms of work, earnings, education, and so on, even when taking into account their academic abilities. Smarts matter, but so does character.”

    The vision of the Excellence in Youth Leadership Award is to create an opportunity for youth across our community to be celebrated publically for their leadership contributions.  

  • Become an EYL Sponsor

    To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the 2021 Excellence in Youth Leadership Program contact Aileen Meyer at ameyer@defianceholcross.org.