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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I join YBLA?

Admissions to YBLA is competitive. There are a limited number of membership slots available each year. Qualified students are invited to apply during our two open enrollment periods in August and December. Enrollment in December is very competitive and is limited to open slots made available by membership cancellation. 

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If I cannot make one of the Leadership Draft tryouts, can I still apply for membership?


Unfortunately, you cannot apply for membership if you do not attend a Leadership Draft tryout. 

What is the YBLA Ambassador program?​

The YBLA Ambassador program is the organization’s flagship platform.  Ambassadors are the face of the organization, personifying our commitment to student leadership, service, and education. Ambassadors are trained in cohorts. They receive Toastmasters, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, BB&T Emerging Leaders certifications and other leadership, service, and education training. The selection process for the program is highly competitive. To apply for the Ambassador program, rising 9th grade students must have been on A/B honor roll in 8th grade. Rising 10th and 11th grade students much have a minimum, cumulative, weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher. They must also have demonstrated leadership capabilities, participated in community service and have a strong desire to lead others.

What are the student requirements for participating in YBLA?

The minimum requirements for the Ambassador program are listed below:

·       Be a young black male or female in the 9th -11th grades

·       9th grade students- A/B honor roll during 8th grade

·       10th and 11th grade students- minimum, cumulative, weighted GPA of 3.0

·       Successfully complete two rounds of interviews

·       Be available to meet on a weekly basis plus some weekends

·       Must have a strong desire to lead teams and projects

Do you allow high school seniors to participate in your program?

Yes, senior students do participate in our program; however, we do not recruit senior students. All senior participants in our program are students who have at least 1 full year of leadership certifications and training with our leadership coaches. Students can only enter the program during the 9th and 10th grades. 11th grade students are only allowed to enter during the fall semester of their junior year. 


Are there program fees to participate?

Yes, the YBLA Ambassador program has a program cost. The program cost supplements a portion of the program fees, facilities, uniforms, materials costs, staffing and venue rentals. The balance of the cost is covered through fundraising and corporate sponsorship.

Does YBLA provide financial assistance for membership?

YBLA is a mission-driven nonprofit organization. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to develop leadership skills and to make an impact. With that in mind, YBLA provides financial assistance for families who cannot afford the full cost of a YBLA membership. We use a sliding scale based on a series of factors. Recipients are expected to be responsible for a percentage of the membership cost. Requests for financial assistance must be completed using the YBLA Financial Assistance Application during the enrollment period.


How do I get involved with YBLA?

There are three ways to engage with YBLA.

1.     Volunteer – If you would like to volunteer with YBLA, please send an email to Maria Smith at

2.     Donate – If you would like to donate, please go to

3.     Sponsor – If your corporation would like to invest in our young leaders, please contact Joseph Butler at



What is the YBLA mission?

At YBLA, we develop young black leaders to have a positive impact in their community and beyond. We focus on helping our young people become leaders who are college and career ready. As our young leaders strive to succeed, they are trained to reach back and mentor elementary, middle and high school students. We achieve our goals through our three pillars of Leadership, Service, and Education.


How long has YBLA existed?

YBLA has been in existence since 2006.

YBM Leadership Alliance changed its name to Young Black Leadership Alliance, or YBLA, in 2017. YBM Leadership Alliance was established in 2006 and received 501c3 status in February 2009. YBW Leadership Alliance was established in 2015 to provide programming for Young Black Women (YBW). YBM and YBW merged into a single brand of YBLA in 2017.


What has YBLA accomplished?

Since 2006, YBLA has impacted, served and trained more than 15,000 people worldwide.


Over the years, we have achieved the following results:

·       Hosted 12 leadership conferences with over 7,000 attendees

·       Provided over 5,400 meals to the homeless in NC

·       Provided over 600 hours of mentoring to elementary students 

·       Collected and distributed over 1,000 books

·       Provided over 5,000 pairs of new shoes to children in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

·       Established a computer lab and library in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic

·       Hosted A Peace Breakfast with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers and young black men

·       YBLA’s Ambassadors have achieved remarkable academic results which include: 100% high school graduation, 97% college attendance, 3% military attendance and a 97% college retention rate.


How does YBLA raise funds?

YBLA (Young Black Leadership Alliance) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.  YBLA operating and programming funds are provided through individual donations, corporation contributions, annual fundraisers, grants and program membership fees.

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