What is Youth Leadership Oklahoma?

Leadership Oklahoma annually selects the top 50 high school student applicants from across Oklahoma who have completed their junior year in high school to participate in a week long program in the summer. The intent of the program is to develop young leaders who feel a hope, pride and responsibility for Oklahoma’s future. While we are modeled after the Leadership Oklahoma’s adult leadership program, we have added elements to develop a student’s skills and positive character traits within the context of a tour across Oklahoma.

What happens during the YLOK program?

Using hands-on experiences, sessions may include tours, role-playing, panel presentations, videos, lectures, games, question and answer sessions and other activities and opportunities. Our opening retreat is organized to develop a high comfort level among class members, and our closing retreat is geared to show students how to apply what they’ve learned throughout the tour and to appropriately recognize participants.

When are the sessions?

The week long Oklahoma program is held each year in June, typically a Sunday afternoon to the following Friday afternoon.

Why should I apply to Youth Leadership Oklahoma?

The Youth Leadership Oklahoma program helps refine participants’ leadership skills. We expand their knowledge of Oklahoma—its treasures, issues, concerns, sources of pride and goals for the future. We work to develop life skills that can enhance participants’ success now and later, and we encourage reflection and goal setting. Classes are selected with an eye toward gender balance, racial diversity and cultural diversity. Exposure to others with dissimilar backgrounds is a major benefit of Youth Leadership Oklahoma. We anticipate the friendships developed with other youth and adults to be one of the major benefits to everyone involved.

Who is eligible to apply?

High school juniors are eligible. They must attend school in Oklahoma.

How much does the class cost?

The Youth Leadership Oklahoma program is provided free of cost to each student selected. Each class member receives a scholarship that covers tuition, lodging, meals, transportation and materials. Corporate and private donations cover all costs.

How do students apply?

Applications for the Youth Leadership Oklahoma program go live on the Leadership Oklahoma website September 1. Applications are also emailed to every Oklahoma high school in September. -Who selects the Youth Leadership Oklahoma class? The Selection Committee is comprised of Leadership Oklahoma Graduate volunteers. -When will applicants be notified of selection status? All applicants will be notified no later than March 1 of the application year whether they have been selected or not.