National Council on Youth Leadership

The National Council on Youth Leadership (NCYL) is dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and developing the leadership skills of youth. We believe that the positive messages we can give young men and women today can inspire and shape their futures.  NCYL has been working cooperatively with communities since 1980 to fulfill this mission. Our network of programs is focused on activities on the local level, providing opportunities to a diverse group of young people. NCYL programs cover the following areas in accomplishing our mission:

  • Creating public awareness of the importance and power of youth leadership.
  • Providing programs to build advanced leadership skills.
  • Facilitating community involvement in recognition and supporting their youth.
  • Saluting outstanding adult commitment to youth.
  • Offering scholarships and achievement awards.


Greater Des Moines Chapter
It is the goal of the Greater Des Moines Chapter of NCYL to recognize and reward local students who have demonstrated leadership qualities. This program is sustained only through contributions from local businesses and individuals. Every student participates in the sponsored activities at no cost.

Youth Salute
Each spring, high school juniors from the Greater Des Moines area are nominated for leadership they have shown in school, religious organizations or their community. The nominees must have been elected to a leadership position and have at least a B average to be eligible. All eligible nominees are invited to attend a two-day Youth Salute seminar at Drake University in September, where they take part in workshops on team-building, self-esteem and other leadership concepts. Students receive recognition through media coverage, a traveling photographic display and a recognition/award ceremony. At the September ceremony, scholarship winners and “Youth Leaders of the Year” are announced.

Town Meeting on Tomorrow
“Youth Leaders of the Year,” chosen from among the Greater Des Moines area nominees, are invited to attend the “Town Meeting on Tomorrow.” Town Meeting on Tomorrow was designed to bring youth leaders together to share ideas and help inspire each other. Each October, youth leaders from across the nation gather in St. Louis. During this conference, students:

  • Enter into a dialog with civic, business, political, sports, and media leaders.
  • Broaden their horizons by interacting with youth leaders of diverse backgrounds.
  • Enhance leadership skills through seminars by dynamic professionals and experiential learning opportunities in small groups.

Two awards are presented at Town Meeting on Tomorrow. The National Youth Leader of the Year receives a sculpture and a scholarship from the Paul W. Brandel Scholarship Fund. The Jamie Harder Team-Builder award is presented to one member from each team for team-building and leadership skills demonstrated during the conference.

NCYL2013 National Council on Youth Leadership Class

The 2013 NCYL Banners will be on display at the following locations during the following days:
Jordan Creek Mall   9/23-10/7
Valley West Mall   10/7-10/21
Merle Hay Mall   10/21-11/4
Iowa Hall of Pride   11/4-12/2
Mercy West   12/2-12/16
IMMC   12/16-12/30
Wells Fargo   12/30-1/8
Farm Bureau   1/8-1/22

For more information about NCYL and how you can get involved next year, please contact Kitty Olsen at 515-246-1649.

Just Give

1213 25th Street     |     Des Moines, IA 50311     |     515-271-1910     |     Email Us

© 2013 Character Counts In Iowa