Youth Leadership Rutherford


Applications are now available for the 2018-2019 school year. Applications are due on February 26th, 2018.

Mission and History

The Youth Leadership Program began as a project of the 1993-94 Leadership Rutherford Education Study Group. It was approved as an officially sponsored program of Leadership Rutherford in June 1994, and the first class began in the fall of 1995. The program is an officially recognized school activity by the Rutherford County School Board.

Youth Leadership Rutherford is a personal development program designed to educate and enhance the quality of leadership skills in juniors and seniors in high school while promoting community awareness.

Program Information and Content

Youth Leadership Rutherford is directed by the Leadership Rutherford Chair, Executive Director and Business Education Partnership Executive Director. YLR is currently a private, not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization, existing solely on tuition, private donations and fundraising activities.

Youth Leadership Rutherford consists of a weekend orientation program in September, seven seminar days from October- April, and graduation in May. Each day focuses on a major area of community concern and explores issues of leadership within the context of that subject. The goal of each day is to open the minds of participants to the viewpoints that surround each issue and enable young people to become more visionary leaders.

Program Objectives

  • To enhance leadership skills and increase community awareness in high school students
  • To provide students with a practical understanding of major challenges and opportunities facing Rutherford County
  • To enhance the educational experience of future leaders in Rutherford County

Program Topics

Listed below are examples of program topics that are covered during Youth Leadership Rutherford.

  • Teamwork Skills
  • Business and Economic Development
  • Government
  • Courts and Public Safety
  • Industry and Agriculture
  • Human Needs and Services
  • Education
  • Arts and Quality of Life

Application Procedures and Tuition

Youth Leadership Rutherford actively recruits rising seniors from all high schools within Rutherford County. A maximum of 40 students have the opportunity to participate each year. Participants are selected on their own merits through an application and interview process conducted by the Leadership Rutherford Council. Criteria for selection include:

  • High school senior
  • GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Demonstrated interest in leadership positions in school and/or community
  • Desire for personal growth opportunities
  • Commitment to completion of entire program

The Youth Leadership Rutherford program tuition is $215.00 per student. Tuition covers all costs of the program—meals, transportation, materials, etc.

Applications are available each January for the following year and may be obtained through high school guidance offices or by calling the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce at (615) 893-6565. Completed applications are due in February, personal interviews are scheduled in early March and students are notified by mail of their acceptance into the program.