Asheville -- Asheville Parks & Recreation November 29, 2023: Do you know sophomores and juniors in high school interested in career exploration, leadership development, and gaining 21st-century job skills to prepare them for their future?

City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA) applications are open and APR has openings for those interested in careers in parks and recreation!

The program spans two summers in which students are paid $17 an hour and awarded a $2,000 scholarship upon completion. Students get first-hand experience in their career of choice, network, and build skills and relationships to aid them as they prepare for college life.

The City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA)

Committed to providing its students with:

A meaningful summer work experience,
Leadership development through seminars and community service.
College preparatory activities, including year-long academic support. 
 

Since its inception in 2007, CAYLA has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In 2011, CAYLA was honored with the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service.

CAYLA is an integral part of the City’s ‘Grow Our Own’ initiative, as envisioned by the Asheville City Council. The City is committed to giving Asheville’s young people the opportunity to stay and work in Asheville, as well as to have valuable work experiences that will advance their future careers wherever they go. The program is a partnership with the Asheville City Schools Foundation and is supported in part by Buncombe County.

CAYLA recruits, trains, and places local high school students at meaningful summer jobs with the City and with participating agencies, in addition to providing weekly day-long workshops on financial literacy, leadership, career exploration, and 21st Century job skills. CAYLA engages its students throughout the school year by offering group-based enrichment activities, plus individualized assistance with college applications and scholarship research. The vast majority of CAYLA students will be the first in their families to attend college. CAYLA students must be enrolled in Asheville City Schools or one of the Buncombe County High Schools. To strengthen their connection to the community, CAYLA students learn about civic responsibility through frequent community service projects that they themselves plan and lead. The CAYLA students have become positive role models for their peers and, just as importantly, for the many children with whom they interact, including their younger siblings and neighbors. The CAYLA students have completed more than 4,300 hours of community service with agencies including MANNA FoodBank, IRL at Asheville Middle School, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ABCCM Women and Children’s Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Brother Wolf, and Eliada Homes, among others.

The City of Asheville is now accepting applications for the C.A.Y.L.A program until January 15, 2024. Click here to apply now.

2023 Internship Sites  
Delta House 
City of Asheville Parks & Rec
Carla & Company Real Estate Services
Slay The Mic
Blue Ridge Power
MAHEC
Verner Day Care Learning Center
Amiliana’s Hair Studio
The Plug Chiropractic
RHA Health Services
Christine Avery Learning Center
City of Asheville Planning & Urban Design
JD Ellison 
Van Winkle Law Firm
AVL Chamber of Commerce
City of Asheville City Manager’s Office
BC Family Justice Center
ABIPA- Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement
City of Asheville Community and Economic Development
City of Asheville Capital Projects
McGuire Wood & Bissette Law Firm
Smile Starters
Asheville Beauty Bar
City of Asheville IT Department
YWCA
Horizon’s Carolina Day
Kissed by Tasha Hair Salon
Black’s Orthodontist
 

Local Government Sites 
City of Asheville
Capital Projects
City Manager’s Office
Community and Economic Development
IT 
Parks & Recreation
Planning & Urban Design
Buncombe County Family Justice Center
Non-Profit – 7
ABIPA-Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Christine Avery Learning Center
Delta House
MAHEC
RHA Health Services
YWCA
Private Sector – 14
Asheville Beauty Bar
Amiliana’s Hair Studio
Black’s Orthodontist
Blue Ridge Power
Carla & Company Real Estate Services
Horizon’s Carolina Day
JD Ellison
Kissed by Tasha Hair Salon
McGuire Wood & Bissette Law Firm
Slay The Mic
Smile Starters
The Plug Chiropractic
Van Winkle Law Firm
Verner Day Care Learning Center
 

Summer Internships
Sara Benitez- Ceritos at her summer internship site with Blue Ridge Power.
CAYLA students are placed at summer internships with City and County departments, local businesses, and nonprofits.

Please Note: CAYLA students are required to work  4 hours per day, Monday- Thursday for approximately 16 hours per week. (Specific times will depend on each job site) ***Hours can be adjusted to accommodate Friday workshops***

Weekly Workshops – Summer
CAYLA students are required to attend mandatory Friday workshops.  Friday workshop topics range from: Leadership Development
Team-Building
Financial Literacy
College Preparation 
Career Exploration. 
Students are paid their hourly wage for attendance at the workshops.
Community Service
CAYLA students are involved in numerous community service activities throughout the academic year.

Accomplishments
Total scholarship money (merit) awarded to CAYLA 2007-2023 = $2,174,074
Total community service hours since 2007: 4,300
100% of CAYLA seniors have been accepted to college
 

Contact Information
Promise Boseman – Workforce Development Coordinator/ CAYLA Programs Director 

pboseman@ashevillenc.gov  / 828-641-1554

If you are looking for affordable housing, suffering a housing crisis, in need of rental assistance or down payment assistance, or you have concerns about our homeless community, 

Please Call 211. The service is free, confidential, and available in any language.


Image Credit: WNCTimes

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