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We're Life-Changing

21st Century Leaders inspires students to lead by equipping them with leadership and life skills, career readiness, and the confidence to serve and lead wherever they go.

Inspiring Youth to Lead, Today and Tomorrow

21st Century Leaders equips and empowers young talent to lead while fostering a culture of inclusion and service.

Need to Develop Leadership Skills

Every student has the potential to be an effective leader. Our programs bring diverse, like-minded students together to identify their leadership style and then put it into action. 

Undecided About Future Career

What will you do after high school? We help students (and parents!) answer that big question by exposing them to career options and connecting them with industry leaders to gain clarity on what they do (or don’t) want to pursue after graduation.

Desire for Inclusion

When students bring their authentic selves to the table, amazing results happen! Engaging with peers from diverse backgrounds across Georgia and relatable volunteers fosters intentional inclusivity, leveraging diversity for collective impact.

21CL Transforms Students into Leaders

Our programs come at little to no cost, enabling all students to access our programs, experiences, and resources. 21st Century Leaders offers programs and hands-on experiences that develop leadership skills, career readiness, and an inclusive perspective in Georgia’s high school students through:

Our Partners

Our Programs

Our interactive programs are facilitated by 21CL staff, alumni, subject matter experts, and corporate partners. There are three ways a student can join 21st Century Leaders: 

  1. Enroll in Leadership Connect
  2. Join a 21CLub at their school or community center
  3. Apply to and attend one of our Summer Leadership Institutes.

Once a student becomes a 21st Century Leader through at least one of the programs listed, they have access to additional experiences and opportunities that will inspire them to lead.

Leadership Connect

Foster lifelong leadership skills through our exclusive online platform and foundational program for high school students.  Leadership Connect’s gamified, self-paced curriculum lets students engage in self-discovery, connect with peers, and earn rewards and special opportunities. Unlock 21CL’s experiences through Leadership Connect. 

Year-round enrollment available.


Discover leadership through our school and community programs, emphasizing servant leadership. Join or start a club to plan service projects, host forums, and develop leadership skills from a student-led perspective. 21Club members gain access to Leadership Connect for enhanced development. 

Join or start a 21CLub!

Summer Institutes

Explore leadership in our flagship residential institutes! Spend a transformative week on a college campus networking, collaborating on capstone challenges, and engaging with industry leaders. Each institute emphasizes leadership development in a crucial industry. Gain access to Leadership Connect as part of summer acceptance. 

Application required for this program as summer slots are limited.

Our Experiences

Joining our organization opens doors to year-round experiences for high school students, fostering personal and professional leadership development through connections with companies, volunteers, alumni, and peers. Explore our additional experiences to stay connected, take on leadership roles, and continue your dynamic leadership journey.

Leadership Summits

Our summits are one-day training experiences where students work together in teams to problem-solve workplace challenges and community issues. Students gain insight into careers through workshops and panels led by summit partners. All current students can register for these experiences.

Internships & Scholarships

Seniors can apply for a paid summer internship and a post-secondary education scholarship through our program. Partnering with host companies, we help bridge the equity gap by offering valuable work experience and reducing financial barriers to post-secondary opportunities. Eligibility requires completing 3 Levels in Leadership Connect.

Georgia Youth Leadership Awards

Annually, we celebrate the leadership of 21 outstanding students across Georgia through our Georgia Youth Leadership Awards (GYLA). Award recipients are recognized at our Be the Inspiration Gala, receive a monetary scholarship, and are paired with a community business leader to mentor them. Eligibility for nomination requires completing 1 Level in Leadership Connect.

Youth Ambassadors

Youth Ambassadors are the voices of 21st Century Leaders, representing diverse perspectives and serving as advocates. They empower high school students statewide to join our community, building connections among peers, volunteers, alumni, and supporters. Eligibility to apply requires completing 2 Levels in Leadership Connect.

What Our Future Leaders Say
About Us

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Our Student Success Stories

35th Anniversary -James Nixon (1)
May 23, 2024
One of my favorite lessons learned that I still apply personally and professionally is from the FISH philosophy.  I learned, “even if we disagree, don’t make me wrong.”  This means that there are always different perspectives and often not just one right answer or means to get something accomplished.
35th Anniversary -Nolie Burns
May 9, 2024
Programs like 21CL are important because they expose students to diverse experiences, people, institutions, and perspectives that they may not receive within their own community. These programs promote post-secondary readiness while creating well-rounded individuals who can take on the world with just a little more confidence than the student who did not get the same exposure.
35th Anniversary - Andrea Bern
May 1, 2024
21CL was my first exposure to any sort of leadership training. Everything that I learned and experienced during my summers as a participant and staff member helped to build my foundation for the style of leader that I have been and am today.  21CL made leadership training fun, interesting, and impactful especially as a high school student. 

Take the First Step on Your Leadership Journey

21CL offers four hands-on experiences that provide additional opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills, explore careers, and cultivate an inclusive attitude.

Step 1
Join 21st Century Leaders
Ready to become a 21st Century Leader? Students can join by enrolling in Leadership Connect, joining a 21CLub, or by applying to a summer leadership institute. Once you join, you’ll have access to all of our other programs and experiences.​
Step 1
Step 2
Develop Your Leadership
Now that you’re a 21st Century Leader, plan to attend our programs and experiences throughout the school year and summer. Our summits take place twice a year, you can attend more than one program, and our experiences occur annually. Keep your leadership skills sharp year-round!​
Step 2
Step 3
Continue Your Leadership Journey
When you join 21st Century Leaders through any of our three main programs, your membership extends throughout high school. We believe in continuous leadership development, so until you graduate, you'll have ongoing access and invitations to all 21CL programs and experiences each year.​
Step 3