Honoring the Past
On January 16, 1993, the first African American Youth Leadership Conference (AAYLC) was held at the Hillside Community Center, Colorado Springs. It was sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, INC.
The AAYLC was limited to young African American males in grades 6 - 12 and was presented from the perspective of a male minority. The AAYLC was the first of its kind in Colorado Springs. This conference focused on social issues affecting black youth, the importance of education, and the study of Black History. In attendance were approximately 175 male students.
Because of the AAYLC's tremendous success and the positive response from the community, it was expanded in 1994 to include females in grades 6 through 12. At the time, Colorado College was the Conference's first major partner, providing both funding and facilities. Since 1994, Colorado College has been an important partner. Each March, the AAYLC hosts approximately 700 students of all ethnicities on the Colorado College campus.
The AAYLC has grown since its inception as a result of its emphasis on educational development and community outreach. It now serves as a program supported by corporate, civic, academic, religious, fraternal, social, and other community organizations and individuals. It is entirely organized and carried out by volunteers from the community. To date, the AAYLC has served over 19,000 students in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Denver. The AAYLC has a long history of fostering high moral standards and values in youth.
Embracing the Future
As the AAYLC celebrates its 30th anniversary, we take a moment to look back on the past as we plan for the future. Our community's interests, needs, and family goals have evolved over the last three decades. To better position ourselves to continue serving youth and their families, we updated our vision, mission, and core values. We are excited to collaborate with you as we initiate the following:
Our Mission: Deliver innovative programs and experiences to enhance student empowerment in their communities and beyond.
Our Vision: Cultivate diverse student leaders to enhance the community and beyond.
Our Core Values: Empowerment, Knowledge, Opportunity, Growth, Connection