McConnell Center hosts 24 high school students for Young Leaders Academy

(June 16, 2014) LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville's McConnell Center will host 24 high school students from across the state for its Young Leaders Academy, scheduled from June 18 to 21.

YLA, a signature event in the McConnell Center's Civic Education Program, provides top high school students with a four-day residential leadership experience at the University of Louisville. The academy offers participants a glimpse into life of UofL student, as YLA participants will stay in university housing; attend college-level lectures and seminars related to themes of democracy, liberty, community deliberation and associations; and even participate in community service projects and a debate series.

“The Young Leaders Academy is an amazing opportunity for top high school students from across Kentucky to participate in leadership development that focuses heavily on exposure to ideas related to American government and cultures, lectures and seminars with university faculty, service opportunities and a glimpse into the life of a McConnell Scholar. It is a great honor to be selected for this program,” said Trisha Vaughn, YLA coordinator.

The theme for this year's YLA is derived from Alexis de Tocqueville's popular 1835/1840 series "Democracy in America." The academy also provides off-site activities, including attending a Louisville Bats baseball game, serving at Bernheim Forest and exploring themes of revolution from the popular "Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

The 2014 YLA participants include:

  • Dalton Anderson, of Corbin, Ky. - Corbin High School
  • Ashley Benton, of Whitesburg, Ky. - Letcher County High School
  • Eric Bush, of Anchorage, Ky. - St. Xavier High School
  • Evan Clark, of Utica, Ky. - Daviess County High School
  • Elizabeth Comenzind, of Louisville, Ky. - Valley High School
  • Sarah Erckenbrack, of Elizabethtown, Ky. - Elizabethtown High School
  • Grayson Ford, of Cadiz, Ky. - Trigg County High School
  • Claire Gothard, of Louisville, Ky. - duPont Manual High School
  • John David Hale, of Prospect, Ky. - Christian Academy of Louisville
  • Lauren Hall, of Louisville, Ky. - Sacred Heart Academy
  • Evan "Vee" Hays, of Pikeville, Ky. - Henry Clay High School
  • Luke Howe-Kerr, of Louisville, Ky. - duPont Manual High School
  • Jacob Keisling, of Frankfort, Ky. - duPont Manual High School
  • Olivia Lane, of Louisville, Ky. - Pikeville High School
  • Joseph "JD" Lovell, of Berea, Ky. - Berea Community High School
  • Maya Pierce, of Louisville, Ky. - Eastern High School
  • Brett Robbins, of Williamstown, Ky. - Williamstown High School
  • Kyle Schaefer, of Covington, Ky. - Holy Cross High School
  • Eric Sirles, of Mt. Washington, Ky. - home-schooled
  • Christina Vega, of Campbellsville, Ky. - Taylor County High School
  • Elizabeth Wahlstedt, of Louisville, Ky. - Sacred Heart Academy
  • Eric Wahlstedt, of Louisville, Ky. - St. Xavier High School
  • John Wahlstedt, of Louisville, Ky. - St. Xavier High School
  • Zach Zuccari, of Glasgow, Ky. - Barren County High School

By Landon Lauder, McConnell Scholar '17