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Georgia Youth Leadership Awards


The 21 students selected each year for our Georgia Youth Leadership Awards will be recognized at our annual fundraising event, Be The Inspiration Gala, receive a monetary grant, and be paired with a business professional who will coach and mentor them throughout the awards season.


Nominations for the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards are open October - November. Only high school students who are members of 21st Century Leaders are eligible for this exclusive award.

Honor a Young Leader

To be considered for the award, a student must either be nominated by a non-relative or they may nominate themself. Students can even nominate a fellow 21st Century Leaders’ peer they are inspired by!

Nomination Requirements

To be eligible:

  • Nominee must be a current 21st Century Leaders student in high school
  • Nominee cannot be a former GYLA winner
  • Nominee must be able to attend the gala
  • Nominee must be nominated by a teacher, counselor, mentor, friend, etc. (nominator can NOT be a relative) OR self-nominate and provide a reference for verification
  • Nominee must complete Level 1 in Leadership Connect by the nomination deadline, but can be nominated before this deadline
Nomination Process

Nominations are accepted October-November and are reviewed by a volunteer Selection Committee. Nominees selected for the award will be notified via email in early January.

  • To nominate, click on the nomination form button and complete the form in its entirety
  • Be prepared to provide detailed information about the student’s achievement(s)
  • Additional items can be uploaded to the nomination form; i.e. resume, websites, videos, pictures, or articles
  • Nominators may be notified by email or phone with additional questions. Please be responsive.
  • The top 21 students will be selected by our GYLA Selection Committee, a group of business professionals, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40 members, 21CL Board of Directors, and 21CL alumni and student peers
  • Nominators will also be notified in January if your student is selected for the award
Selection Committee

Nominations are reviewed each year by our GYLA Selection Committee, comprised of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40 members, recognized community leaders, 21CL Board of Directors, 21CL corporate volunteers, 21CL alumni and previous student awardees.

2024 Georgia Youth Leadership Award Winners

Jordan Adeyemi, Phillips Exeter Academy, Gwinnett County

Aditi Ashok, South Forsyth High School, Forsyth County

Prateek Doddla, Chattahoochee High School, Fulton County

Shiv Garg, Innovation Academy, Fulton County

Joshua Girgis, Montessori School of Rome, Floyd County

Melanie Harper, Marist School, Fulton County

Christian Hooks, Grayson High School, Gwinnett County

Humza Iqbal, Parkview High School, Gwinnett County

Diana Jachman, Midtown High School, Fulton County

Hannah-Lisa Jones, Johnson Ferry Christian Academy, Fulton County

Anshuman (AK) Khadanga, Lakeside High School (Evans), Columbia County

Hannah Lang, Georgia Cyber Academy, Walton County

Akanksha Manna, Campbell High School, Cobb County

Maya Matthews, Westlake High School, Fulton County

Olaoluwa Oguneye, Decatur High School, DeKalb County

Abigail Rong, Denmark High School, Forsyth County

Dhahami Salgado, Emanuel County Institute, Emanuel County

Rhea Shah, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology, Gwinnett County

Ishita Sukul, Johns Creek High School, Fulton County

Zarina Wang, Lambert High School, Forsyth County

Ivy Yang, Alpharetta High School, Fulton County

Group photo of the 2024 Georgia Youth Leadership Award winners and their coaches, taken Feb. 10, 2024 at their Meet & Greet luncheon in at Emory's Goizueta Business School.
Get Inspired by Past Winners

What Our Awardees Say