Excellence in Youth Leadership Program

  • Nominate a Student Today! 

    Nominations are Due April 1, 2020

    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. Nominees are honored at an annual event held the weekend before Labor Day weekend. 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 do something good for the community.  

    Nominate a Youth in Kindergarten – 12th 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. Nominations are now open and are due April 1, 2020.  

    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.  

    Excellence in Youth Leadership Recognition Event

    SAVE THE DATE: Sunday May 17, 2020 for a community-wide event to recognize all EYL nominees. 

    Student guests will receive a free gift!
    All youth who attend will receive a SWAG (Students Who Achieve Goals) bag full of great items! 
    Motivational Speaker
    The event will feature a motivational presentation, TBA. 
    Volunteer Leadership Opportunities
    Area organizations will be on hand with information on leadership opportunities for middle school and high school students. 
    This will be a great opportunity to sign up for service hours and earn some resume-building experience! 
    All youth are FREE with an adult admission (only $10 in advance). 
    This is a great opportunity for teachers to bring a class, youth group leaders to bring their youth group, parents to bring children, etc. 
    Light refreshments will be served and a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families will be handed out to the first 50 adults/families. 
    Please SAVE THE DATE: May 17th, 2020! Location: the Knights of Columbus Hall in Defiance. 
  • Become an EYL Sponsor

    To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the 2020 Excellence in Youth Leadership Program contact Aileen Meyer at ameyer@defianceholcross.org.