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San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office

San Joaquin County Justice System
Youth Leadership Academy

YLA LogoA Summer to Remember

Open to all high school students, this one-of-a-kind program provides students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning opportunities to develop both personal and professional leadership development skills. This program is designed to motivate and inspire the next generation of San Joaquin County leaders - young adults who are thoughtful, ethical, service-oriented and ready to make a positive impact on our community. This program is operated by the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office, in coordination with the Superior Court, Public Defender's Office, and San Joaquin County Bar Association. 

Applications are now closed for this year's Academy. They will reopen Spring 2020.


2019 Youth Leadership AcademyWhat are the dates of the program? 

The program typically runs from mid-June to mid-July, for five weeks. 

What is the schedule? 

Classes are Monday through Friday - 8:30 a.m. to noon. 

What does the program entail?

There are four components to the curriculum:

Classroom instruction by justice system professionals, including criminal law and procedure, alcohol and traffic laws, career assessment tools, substance abuse, teen dating violence, domestic violence, child support laws, gangs, cyber-bullying and social media, the long term importance of education and other relevant topics.

Mentorship: Students will have access to possible mentors in the justice system in an area of their interest to provide personal guidance and insight into careers within the justice system.

Court Observation: Students will also observe actual court proceedings, including, civil, criminal matters, drug, family law and DUI courts.

Field trips will include a tour of the county jail, a live swat demonstration and a visit with the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento.

Who participates in the program?

Last year, we had 30+ students from 19+ area high schools which included Lincoln, Linden, Lodi, Manteca, Stockton, and Tracy Unified School Districts, St. Mary’s High School and a student from Mountain House. This program is inclusive of all students, and is not limited by GPA performance.  All students, regardless of their academic background or career goals will learn and be inspired by the content of the program. 

Is this program fun?

Students not only attended every day, they did not want the program to conclude. Many of them have stayed in close contact with us even to this day! 

How will I get there?

Bus passes will be available for those students who need them for transportation to and from the courthouse.

How many students can participate?

Space is extremely limited. Preference is given to the students in the upper classes.

What is the application process?

The application below may be printed and submitted along with a reference letter from a teacher and/or counselor. You may also fill out the application online and send it to YLA@sjcda.org .

Who should I contact if I have any questions?

Please email YLA@sjcda.org.

Additional Resources for Youth, Parents, and Schools

To invite members of our office to make a presentation to your class or community group, please check out our Speaker’s Bureau:

If you are interested in a volunteer internship position, please visit: https://www.sjgov.org/da/volunteers

To check out some of our videos and presentations on human trafficking and teen dating, visit: https://www.sjgov.org/da/videos

A special Thank You to Kay Recede from Fox40 News for providing this video!