top of page
Website Strip Banner.jpg

Our History


Honoring the Past

The historic beginnings of the African American Youth Leadership Conference (AAYLC) came to life on January 16, 1993, at the Hillside Community Center in Colorado Springs. Proudly sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, INC., this event marked a significant milestone for young African American males in grades 6 - 12.

The AAYLC emerged as a pioneering force in Colorado Springs, presenting a unique perspective from the male minority. Focused on vital social issues impacting black youth, the conference emphasized the importance of education and delved into the rich tapestry of Black History. With an impressive turnout of approximately 175 male students, the AAYLC made its unforgettable debut.

In 1994, fueled by its initial success and the overwhelming support from the community, the AAYLC expanded its reach to include young females in grades 6 through 12. Colorado College emerged as a steadfast ally, becoming the Conference's inaugural major partner, generously providing both funding and facilities. Since then, Colorado College has remained a cornerstone supporter, hosting the AAYLC every March with open arms to welcome around 700 students of diverse ethnicities to its inspiring campus.

From these humble beginnings, the AAYLC has blossomed into a beacon of educational development and community engagement. Supported by a coalition of corporate, civic, academic, religious, fraternal, social, and other community organizations and individuals, the AAYLC is a testament to the power of unity. Entirely driven by dedicated volunteers from our community, the AAYLC has touched the lives of over 19,000 students in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Denver, fostering a legacy of high moral standards and values in our youth.

Embracing the Future

As the AAYLC celebrates its 31st anniversary, we stand at the threshold of an exciting future. Reflecting on our journey, we recognize the evolving landscape of our community's interests, needs, and family aspirations over the past three decades. To continue our legacy of service to youth and families, we have refreshed our vision, mission, and core values. Our vision remains steadfast: to cultivate diverse student leaders who will enrich not only our community but extend their impact far beyond. Our mission drives us to deliver innovative programs and experiences that empower students to effect change in their communities and beyond. Upholding our core values of Empowerment, Knowledge, Opportunity, Growth, and Connection, we embark on this next chapter with enthusiasm and a commitment to collaboration. Together, let us forge ahead into a future where every young mind is nurtured, every potential is realized, and every community thrives.

bottom of page