CAYLA students earn $133,000 in scholarships, incoming class larger thanks to community support

23 students who participated in the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy, 10 of whom are graduating high school seniors, have earned a total of $133,000 in academic scholarships this year. And thanks to donations from outside supporters, the size of the 2010/2011 class will increase by 10 students.

The City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy program selects Asheville High School students for paid summer internship programs in city departments and participating community non-profits and organizations. Throughout the summer and school year, students are also engaged in workshops that focus on topics like financial literacy and the college application process. Since community participation is an important theme for the CALYA program, students also take on community service projects, planning and completing more than 400 hours over the past year.

“These kids are doing phenomenal things, not just in the internships but also in creating business plans and community service,” said CAYLA program coordinator Erika Germer.



One of CAYLA’s goals, as expressed by Asheville City Council and Mayor Terry Bellamy, is to be part of a regional “grow your own” effort to raise, educate and retain local students so they can become Asheville’s future professionals.

“We want to show students the wide variety of professional jobs that exist in Asheville. By doing so, we hope they will come back to live and work in the area after college,” Germer says.

Community generosity means even larger class for 2010

Thanks to outpouring of donations from local partners that enhances the City of Asheville’s CAYLA program budget, the Leadership Academy will be able to expand its roster by ten students in the upcoming year.

Orientation for the new class begins June 21, and includes a weeklong schedule of activities including a community scavenger hunt, an entrepreneurship discussion, goal setting activities and a welcome by Mayor Bellamy.

“The City is committed to offering Asheville’s youth valuable experiences that can enhance their education and their future careers,” Germer said. “CAYLA is designed to help students take an active part in shaping our community and to become role models of leadership for their classmates.”

Click here for a full press release announcing the academic scholarships.

Click here to read more about the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy.