Launched by Leadership Sandy Springs in 2011, YLSS is based on Leadership Sandy Springs’ successful 30-year-old program developing community leaders. It began as a project of the 2010 Leadership Sandy Springs class, who felt offering a program on community leadership is an important step in building the next generation.
“The earlier we connect with emerging leaders, the more we can instill a sense of civic responsibility and civic pride,” explains Debora Wilson, former CEO of The Weather Channel and first chair of the YLSS advisory committee.
“Because of Leadership Sandy Springs, we have hundreds of people who are much more connected to and more knowledgeable about our city," continued Wilson. "It’s part of the strength of Sandy Springs. As we do this with our youth at this very important turning point in their lives, we hope they, too, will join that group of very responsible and engaged citizens of Sandy Springs.”
YLSS accepted its first class of 30 students in 2011-12. That charter class had 13 juniors and 17 sophomores from nine high schools: Riverwood, North Springs, Mt. Vernon, Holy Spirit, Holy Innocents, Galloway, Weber, Marist and The Atlanta International School.