Arapahoe Y Facility Notice: Basketball gym and group exercise studio will be closed 8am-10pm, Sept 19-23. The Spirit, Mind, Body Studio will be closed 8am-10pm, Sept 20-24. Locker rooms will be closed all day, Sept 21-22. Stairway closed Sept 19, 7-10pm.


Lead Boulder

Teen Leadership Program

The YMCA of Northern Colorado, University of Colorado and the Boulder Valley School District have developed a free program to provide selected local high school juniors and seniors with foundational leadership skills. We believe there are many promising local students with great leadership potential who may benefit from additional training and development of their skills. Utilizing the existing resources in our community, this program will give participants significant leadership education and experience. We will provide tools needed to navigate situations that one is likely to face through a continued leadership journey via roles of increasing responsibility and impact.

Through hands-on projects, intrapersonal and interpersonal exploration and mentoring from community leaders, Lead Boulder helps young leaders form self-awareness about their personal mission and values. While completing capstone projects, participants will give back to the community and show their leadership capabilities. Lead Boulder will work to develop purposeful, ethical leaders who are equipped to have a significant impact in our community.

Check out the Daily Camera’s article on Lead Boulder.

Program Details

Each fall, a cohort of high school juniors will start the 18 month program with a weekend retreat and continuing with monthly meetings (breaking for summer). This fall, our retreat will be at YMCA Camp Santa Maria, Friday, August 23 after school through the afternoon of Sunday, August 25. At the retreat, each student will learn more about their personal leadership style as well as participate in team building and other activities to create a cohesive team amongst the selected students. Attendance to this retreat is mandatory for participation in the program.

Roughly each month from September of 2019 through November of 2020, students in the LEAD Boulder Program will attend a two-hour session in the evening where they will be exposed to a very specific leadership lesson from someone who is an expert in that area.Students will be expected to complete the pre-work that is assigned prior to each session so that they are prepared to fully participate and absorb the concepts that are being presented. After the presentation there will be group discussion and/or debate around the topic matter.

The program will conclude with a presentation by each participant about their leadership journey. Attendance to these sessions is mandatory to remain in good standing with the LEAD Boulder Program.

Participation Criteria

  • Lead Boulder participants must plan on attending all scheduled meetings.
  • Applicants must be juniors in high school during the 2019/2020 school year.
  • Applicants must be BVSD students or enrolled in a BVSD program.
  • Participants will present a synthesis of their learning and how it relates to their respective communities.

Characteristics of LEAD Boulder Students

  • Have potential for leadership or demonstrated leadership in either school or the community.
  • Have the commitment to consume and understand the material given and participate in the discussion effectively.
  • Are open-minded, tolerant of divergent perspectives and opinions.
  • Can balance commitment to the program and their academic studies.
  • Engender the positive character, spirit and values of their school and your school community.
  • Are comfortable interacting with a broad and diverse group of individuals and willing to actively participate. 
  • Will look at the curriculum, collateral material, meeting dates and verify that they can attend and will fully participate. 
  • Once a student is nominated, they will be asked to answer three essay questions to help Lead Boulder organizers get to know participants. 


This application is a required component of the selection process for the 2019-21 Lead Boulder Program.

This application is due on or before 11:59pm on Monday, April 15, 2019.

All Lead Boulder applicants must provide one reference. Please direct your reference to this form.
Reference Form

Please answer the following three questions. Limit each response to 250 words or less.

By submitting my application, I agree to the following Lead Boulder requirements. Please read and check all boxes.

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Chris Coker, CEO/President
YMCA of Northern Colorado
303-664-5455 x1100

Kiffany Lychock, Director of Educational Innovations
Boulder Valley School District