Advancing Leadership Youth

Advancing Leadership Youth (ALY) brings teens from all over the city to be engaged in a comprehensive leadership development experience in which they can identify and build personal strengths while being able to give back to the community at the same time. The program shapes young adults into emerging leaders through the work they do with government, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Since being founded in 2005, it has been a goal of ALY to nurture and develop positive leadership attributes within Federal Way’s youth and give them the resources and experiences to drive change in their communities. ALY is comprised of high school sophomores and juniors of diverse cultures and economic backgrounds. Participants are selected from applications submitted by high school students throughout Federal Way, including public, private and homeschooled students.

Students who graduate from ALY are in a position to see tremendous leadership growth from the impact of this program. The development from the program creates the future leaders of the country. Graduates of ALY have gone on to attend prestigious universities, work at the most prestigious employers in the country, start businesses of their own, and drive impactful social change through NGO’s, non-profit organizations.


Similar to our leadership program for adults, ALY equips young leaders by helping them recognize and develop their individual strengths. Students learn how to utilize their natural skills and abilities both as individuals and in groups with their peers. Emphasis is also placed on communication, public speaking, and other skills that help instill a sense of self-confidence in our students. ALY students will also work with their classmates to complete a community service project for a deserving organization in our community. Projects have included mentorship, public awareness events, fundraisers, and more.

Applications for ALY are made available to high school youth in and around the City of Federal Way each spring. Once participants are chosen, they are presented at the graduation of the existing class, then begin their own ALY class with a two-day retreat in August.

Hear from our alumni!

ALY inspired me to be a leader and showed me the great joys of giving back to your community.  I had lived in Federal Way my entire life and was very excited to get the opportunity to meet the city’s leaders and to hear about their personal stories.  Whether it was starting a little league team or trying to reduce poverty and crime, the program helped me see that anyone can be a leader and make a difference. 

ALY is one of the greatest opportunities a high school student could achieve. It brings together the concepts of real world networking and leadership with the excitement and fun of a day camp. The lessons learned in ALY will only be developed and perfected during a lifetime. It sets the basis of essential leadership, team building, and personal confidence skills that will prove useful in anybody’s career. Personally, ALY allowed me to test myself on how much I was going to let people in and how much I was willing to push myself. It gave me more confidence in speaking up and participating. Also it taught me how to be open-minded and to collaborate rather than to argue. I would not say ALY changes people; it simply amplifies the best qualities out of each individual to show the world what we have to offer.

Advancing Leadership is a one of a kind and it has improved my quality of life.  The AL community experience inspired me to redirect my career focus to community development credit unions with an emphasis on asset building through community partnerships.    Advancing Leadership taught me how community stakeholders can rally around common values and achieve great things.  AL friendships last forever and the facilitators remain my closest mentors.