“Through my participation with Coro, I have become increasingly aware and skilled at moving toward authentic youth-adult partnerships both within the context of BSAC work as well as in other venues…the strength of this mindset is keeping the student at the front center of the conversation.”

Betty Feibusch, BSAC Facilitator & Affinity Climate Manager

“I think the most valuable thing is that adults and young people get to talk to each other and listen in a way that diminishes the hierarchy and power dynamic typically between young people and school staff…It’s the structure to promote community and listening that is powerful.”

Ari Sussman, Coro Fellows alum and BSAC Facilitator

“Before the program I wouldn’t ever take other ideas into consideration. During the program, I couldn’t stop considering other people’s ideas and listening closely and actively.”

Janel Excel, YLA Participant 2016-17

“I learned that leadership is communication, vulnerability, strength & compassion.”

Kacian Harriot, YLA Participant 2016-17


In partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Coro’s Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) for Borough Student Advisory Councils (BSACs) builds the leadership skills and capacity of young New Yorkers to weigh in on policies that impact their daily lives as public school students. The YLA offers 28 selected high school students intensive training and hands-on experience as Youth Partner Facilitators to co-lead BSACs with DOE adult staff. Together, through authentic youth-adult partnerships, they plan and facilitate BSAC meetings and activities that empower youth in each borough to advocate for school, community and system change.


The YLA is a cohort of 28 high school students (four per BSAC) is selected to participate. We aim to select a pool that reflects the demographic diversity of New York City and the participating districts.

Program Components:

  • Two-week Summer Institute (July 10th through July 21st)
  • Five YLA Days held on Saturdays or non-instructional days during school year and one Youth-Adult Partnership (YAP) Day
  • Attend and help facilitate one BSAC city-wide event.
  • Participate in individual check-in meetings 3 times a year at Coro.
  • A minimum of 6 hours of service per month for BSAC related work. *Actual hours determined by Climate Manager and YPF.

*Participants will earn a stipend for successful completion of the program schedule requirements listed above.

The Network
The YLA brings together a network of civic-minded students of diverse backgrounds committed to lifting up youth voices and leading change. Upon graduation from the YLA, they join an accomplished community of Coro alumni from all industries and sectors who are dedicated to supporting one another and improving the City so that it is a better place to live, work, and learn.

The Knowledge
YLA Youth Partner Facilitators (YPFs) gain direct experience working with adult partners in the DOE to lead change. They learn about critical policies and practices that influence students city-wide and become engaged in the tough conversations most related to school culture, safety, relationships, and creating supportive learning environments in NYC schools. Serving as ambassadors and liaisons for their school-based peers, YPFs also listen to and amplify the voices of students who may otherwise not be heard.

The Skills
Participants will gain a deeper understanding of education policy, the skills to engage their peers and other community members in decision-making processes, and the opportunity to make a real and lasting impact in the school system.


Candidate Requirements:

  • Entering 10th – 12th grade in the coming school year
  • Is a returning BSAC member and/or committed to ongoing BSAC involvement.
  • Recommended by school staff/and or Climate Managers in charge of their respective BSAC.
  • Demonstrated interest or curiosity in education policy and civic engagement.
  • Desire to strengthen leadership skills and be a community changemaker.
  • Ability to commit to a rigorous program schedule.
Program Fees are waived due to the generous support of our funders.

Apply Today

Applications for YLA 2017-2018 are currently closed and will reopen in May 2018.


View the brochure or download to pass on to a friend.


Learn more about the YLA from student BSAC leaders, facilitators, and adult partners.


Please contact Staci Taustine, Director of Youth Leadership Academy, at staci@coro.nyc or 212-248-2935


Coro’s youth programs are generously supported by the NYC Department of Education, NYC Service, The Pinkerton Foundation, The W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, New York Life, and TD Bank.