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 20 students in 2011-12 from five area high schools.  It is now in its 9th year with close to 40 students from all of the area schools including Riverwood, North Springs, Mount. Vernon, Holy Spirit, Holy Innocents, Galloway, Weber, Marist and The Atlanta Girls School.

The earlier we connect with emerging leaders, the more we can instill a sense of civic responsibility and pride. Because of Leadership Sandy Springs, we have hundreds of people who are much more connected to and knowledgeable about our city. 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.

Debora Wilson, Former CEO, The Weather Channel, First Chairperson, YLSS Advisory Committee

YLSS Executive Director: Linda Cahn

Cell
404-983-1962

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 72008
Sandy Springs, GA 30358

Email:
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Linda Cahn has been the Executive Director since 2018. A 25-year resident of Sandy Springs, Linda knows the students and school systems well. Her own children went to a combination of both private and public schools in Sandy Springs. Linda has a Masters Degree in Education and worked for 30 years in corporate Learning and Development. She has spent many hours volunteering not only for her children's schools, but also for the Sandy Springs Mission, local literacy programs, and CAC.

Testimonials

The focus of YLSS is not the one year you are in the program, rather it is what you do in the years that follow. As future leaders and community members it is our responsibility to use what we have learned to make a difference.

Mary Catherine Thompson

We have got to involve ourselves in the best of what our great city has to offer. We learned about every aspect of our community but the most valuable thing that I personally learned, is that every person can make a difference. From the judges, police and fire, to our librarians, government leaders all play a vital role that keeps this dynamic city moving. What they all have in common is knowledge. Through the past year, every one of us gained an inordinate amount of knowledge, because if you want to be an effective community leader, you need knowledge. That is the one detail I never associated with a leader. Sure, a leader needs to be confident, has to have good speaking skills, but knowledge, that is the most important of all. And because of that, Youth Leadership Sandy Springs gave each and every one of us the tools we need to become leaders and productive citizens.

– Brett Feldman

Because of YLSS, I have the knowledge and courage to actively work towards positive change in my school and my community.

Dori Balser

YLSS opened so many doors. It not only inspired me but taught me I could be a leader, giving me confidence that I could be successful in areas I hadn’t considered before.

Rachel Carlson

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