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The Leadership Kearney Board of Directors are excited for a new year of Youth Leadership Kearney applications. With a new look to our Youth program, the board is looking forward to what's next. Keep reading to learn about these new changes and what's happening!

Covid provided many unique challenges for Leadership Kearney, which included having two youth programs running at once. This unique situation required volunteers from the Leadership Kearney Board of Directors to come forward and help lead both a senior YLK class and a junior YLK class. The Board members who volunteered to lead the senior class looked at the situation as an opportunity to try something new with the Youth and really develop a program that will focus on life after high school and how it could help shape these leaders to be ready for the next phase of their life.

Historically, Youth Leadership Kearney (YLK) has been offered to high school Juniors and has run concurrent with the adult program. Our Board recognized an opportunity to provide youth with a more individualized program aimed at assisting them in gaining skills and knowledge that will help them become even more successful as they navigate the end of their high school career and begin their journey into adulthood. This program will now run during the spring semester of the participants’ Junior year and conclude in the fall semester of their Senior year. Participants will continue to experience some of the traditional sessions such as State Government Day, but new sessions such as “Career Exploration” and “Quality of Life & Relationship Building” will be added to the program. We want to sincerely thank Kearney Public Schools and Kearney Catholic Schools for assisting in this transition.


Youth Leadership Kearney Applications Open: Monday, September 12th

Youth Leadership Kearney Applications Close: Friday, October 14th @ 5 PM.

The application is made up of 5 sections:

  1. Personal Information

  2. Leadership Questions

  3. Involvement Questions

  4. Applicant Additional Information

  5. Application Submission**

** Teacher & Community Reference Letters: There should be ONE teacher and ONE community reference letter submitted with the students application. Please note that in section 5 of the YLK application the student will be required to upload both reference letters to the application prior to submitting. If a student DOES NOT submit the TWO required reference letters by the Friday, October 14th at 5 PM deadline their application is considered incomplete. Reference Letter templates will be available for download on the Youth Leadership Kearney application page that students will have to give to their references to complete.


The Youth Leadership Kearney selection process is highly competitive and is done through a blind selection process based on a scoring rubric. This is a highly confidential process. All student information and school identifiers are removed prior to the selection committee's review and are not seen by the selection committee at all. If you have any application questions Heather Ullman at the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce can help guide you in answering questions.


All applicants will be notified by email that their application has been received and is completed. All applicants will be notified by mail regarding the selection results, no later than December 1st, 2022.

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