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Youth Leadership Alliance


Since 2018, Friends of the Children of West Hawai‘i and now Get Ready Hawai‘i have been proud to work with the Hawai‘i Youth Services Network, the State of Hawai‘i Legislature's Keiki Caucus, and various youth serving partners to hold the annual Hawai‘i Children and Youth Summit.


The Children and Youth Summit is an event for middle and high school youth to gather and discuss issues of concern to themselves and their peers, speak with representatives of the State of Hawaii government, and make recommendations on legislative action. In 2019 we were able to take 5 youth to attend the summit on Oahu, including one of the opening panel speakers. 

In 2020 our Executive Director was asked to take on significant leadership in the planning of the summit and oversee the technical aspects of the first ever virtual Children and Youth Summit. In 2021 our Executive Director, Jefferson Gourley, has been asked to chair the planning committee and he plans to ensure that members of the Youth Leadership Alliance are included in the planning process as the 2024 event approaches. 

For more information on the Hawai‘i Children and Youth Summit, click the link below to visit their website.

The Youth Leadership Alliance is a leadership and enrichment program for middle and high school youth in three parts.

Leadership And Entrepreneurial Curriculum

Part 1 of the Youth Leadership Alliance is the curriculum providing the skills in order to run a non-profit board or small business. The curriculum includes communication skills, multi-cultural leadership, parliamentary procedure, financial management, and other essential skills which will serve future participation in the program as well as provide vital life skills to participants.

YLA Advisory Committee

Part 2 of the Youth Leadership Alliance is the YLA Advisory Committee, the self-governance body through which youth participants have input on the priorities of the organization, the planning and implementation of enrichment activities for themselves and peers, and overseeing community events. The YLA Advisory Committee is also an advisory committee to the Board of Directors and the chair of the committee also serves as the Youth Outreach Liaison, a full voting member of the Board of Directors who is selected entirely by the membership of the Youth Leadership Alliance.

Enrichment Activities and Community Events

Part 3 of the Youth Leadership Alliance are the activities and events planned and implemented by the members of the YLA. These include enrichment activities in our community such as the Keiki Corner craft activities we ran until COVID 19, and will soon include enrichment activities such as performing arts, physical fitness, gardening, arts and crafts, and more in partnership with the Ready Center Initiative. This part of the program also includes community events at which members of the YLA assist in distributing information on the organization and goods such as our Alice's Closet clothing or Get Ready For School supplies.

YLA History

The Youth Leadership Alliance was established in 2017 after hiring our current Executive Director, Jefferson Gourley. In 2019 members of the YLA Advisory Committee were able to take part in the Hawai‘i Children and Youth Summit and while on Oahu participants also experienced ice skating and visited the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials at Pearl Harbor. In 2020 members of the YLA were included in portions of the planning process for the summit and began discussions of holding a County of Hawai‘i Children and Youth Summit which would address county level legislative concerns.

Since 2017 members of the YLA have also worked with organizational personnel to coordinate the annual school supply and Christmas gift projects for children in need.

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