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High School Student



Each Ambassador is to take responsibility for their actions, decisions, outcomes and consequences.

Invest in a bright future!

Changing the Narrative

Your contribution can propel a young man into a bright future.

 $1200 Sponsors A Young Ambassador for the entire year or make any donation!

  DONATE with Venmo App @YALA2020



Our mission is to empower African American males 6-17 to be young men of character who are responsible global leaders and excel academically and personally.

501 (C) 3 #46-1417742


Dear Friends and Supporters,

 "For decades, opportunity has lagged behind for boys and young men of color."


Young Ambassadors Leadership Academy (YALA) has created 'A Village' to bridge the gap and help put these boys and young men on the path to success. We want to partner with local businesses and foundations to support our efforts in mentoring and providing life skills they need to go to college, become entrepreneurs and global citizens. 


YALA  is celebratin15 years in 2021 and your support has enabled us to support the lives of young males with valuable resources to empower towards academic and personal excellence. We are grateful to impact the lives of over 500+ young males and we are appreciative of our progress.



To influence the lives of African American males and empower them to reach their full potential academically and professionally as productive global citizens. To affirm their significance of greatness while building a legacy of courage, dedication and excellence.  


YALA is designed to promote and sustain learning in male participants ages 6-17. With consistent guidance and age appropriate activities, the participants are assisted in developing critical character and leadership skills.  More importantly, YALA focuses on integrating service and leadership development into academic plans, career exploration, and health and wellness activities to promote members’ overall success.



Each year welcomes a fresh theme that launches them into a new experience to explore academic and career growth possibilities.  We have been keeping busy with additional programming and events.


The 2022 Year focused on 'Careers in Sports OFF the Field.' 

The 2021 Year of YES - Young Entrepreneur Success 

The 2020 Year of the White Coat  


Also in the past we have focused on 'Engineering'; Crafting your Artistry: Video Gaming, Chess, Fencing, Archery, Culinary, Voiceover, and Graphic Design; Aeronautics; Robotics etc.

            LEARN BY DOING.....The goal is to:

  • Lure the Ambassador into the topic

  • Engage interest

  • Actively involve the Ambassador

  • Reinforce learning

  • ​Nourish a lifelong interest



Perhaps our progress is best told through the eyes of a single parent, raising her 14 year old son who was going astray.  He was failing his classes and hanging out with the wrong kids. Her and her son met us at an MLK Jr. celebration.  Although he was initially not interested in what we had to offer:  mentorship, brotherhood, leadership and life skills, he made a 360 by embracing our support.  By his 10th grade year, he became an A and B student and taking computer science courses, as well as, being chosen for a college internship in a computer program field.  11th grade he took 4 AP classes  and was chosen to attend a leadership program during the summer at Pepperdine University.    Thank you for so generously walking this road with all of us.

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Justin Kalski

Justin Kalski is an alum of YALA.  His story comes full circle from being a participant in our program and graduating out in 2018 to being a teacher for our INVESTMENT 101 Series.  

The 2021 class welcomed Justin and his expertise in investing in the stock market. He taught 7th to 12th graders the basics of investing.

"Mr. & Mrs. Thomas continue to be very supportive and have assisted me through some of my toughest years.   I am inspired by them to be great and impactful in a world that is constantly pushing against that.  I am thankful that they have given me the strength and guidance towards success and always driving me to be better."

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Our 2022 Ambassadors: Brandon Berry and Massai Rodriguez graduated out of YALA. They are looking to pursue careers in Computer Science at DePaul and   Engineering  at Tuskegee.

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Our 2021 Ambassadors: Seth Mack and Amoni Spencer graduated out of YALA. They are looking to pursue careers in Dentistry and   Engineering or Law. They are both attending Pierce College.


2019 Ambassadors Christian Defesh, Bradley Pierce and Elijah Holmes are our 2019 graduates out of the program and have bridged over to the Links Achievers program for their senior year.  

Our 2020 Ambassadors Lives Matter!  Jackson Brass, Chazdon Jeffery and Joseph Thomas graduated out of YALA. They are looking to pursue careers in Video Gaming/ Fashion Design,  Engineering (Illinois Tech)and Cyber Security (Pierce College)

2018 Ambassadors Jonathan, Amir and Justin graduated out of YALA last year and headed to college 2019.  University of Nevada, University of Indiana,  California State University, Northridge


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We salute Devin Hardy who was our 2017 Ambassador of the Year and for continuing to  carry forth... Manhood, Responsibility and Leadership at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

 Public Service Announcement

YALA's Message on Mental Health

Mental Health is BRAIN HEALTH. It is important for you to get the help you need.  Do not feel like you are alone.  You are loved, you are important, you are needed and the HELP is there for you.  

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