Youth Leadership Programming

Flagship Youth Program

The Muncie Youth Leadership Program

The goal of this program is to explore the dynamics of leading groups.  Through experiential learning, students will gain insight on the relevance of what it means to be a leader on campus and the surrounding community of Muncie. In this two-semester experience, students will be placed into a group that includes students from two local schools. We will accept 15 Muncie Central students and 15 Burris Laboratory School / Indiana Academy students.  The program is in its fourth year of existence. In 2022 we replicated the program in Tipton for students at Tipton Community Schools and Tri Central Schools.

During this program students

  • Discover their leadership skills, learn new skills, and lead each other.
  • Explore proven leadership practices while working in a group to identify a social issue that is prevalent on their school campus and/or Muncie community.
  • Attend a retreat, multiple group project sessions and workshops in which the theme of group leadership will be discussed.
  • Work to complete a group service project over the course of an academic year.
  • Make friends and have fun!

Featured Youth Program Partnerships

Muncie Youth Empowerment Program is a partnership between Ivy Tech Community College, NAACP Muncie, and Indiana Michigan Power. This program exposes students to college courses while providing life-changing, enriching experiences. The program aims to introduce students to various paths to success through educational and career orientation while also relaying that higher education does not have to be a daunting process. Shafer Leadership Academy serves as the leadership vendor, providing curriculum each year for participants.


Burris Laboratory School Ambassador Program prepares Burris elementary, junior, and high school students to serve as representatives for their students to the greater Muncie community. Shafer Leadership Academy served as the featured training partner where we provided sessions on body language, building an elevator pitch, and active listening.


Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is a state-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to helping high school students of promise who have experienced challenging or traumatic life experiences achieve success through graduation. JAG is a resiliency-building workforce program that helps students learn in-demand employability skills and provides a bridge to post-secondary education and career advancement opportunities. Shafer Leadership worked with regional partner Eastern Indiana Works to provide coaching and feedback regarding participants’ public speaking skills.

Muncie YouthBuild is a community initiative that targets 18 – 24-year-olds in the Muncie Area to provide experience in construction with a housing rehabilitation project. Focused on at-risk young adults who have struggled in a traditional educational environment, Youth Build is a federally funded project. Shafer Leadership Academy facilitates sessions on personality inventories, time management, exploring personal strengths, communications and resiliency.


Teen Works, first launched by the Glick family, empowers teens to discover a new level of self-confidence, recognize that achieving professional success is within their reach, and build their resources to make it happen. Their flagship summer program engages teens in Muncie and Indianapolis with community-based work and professional development. Shafer Leadership Academy has provided a variety of sessions including teamwork, communication, role modeling, learning styles, and leading change.

Looking to support the young leaders in your community?
Contact: Mitch Isaacs, Executive Director at

Popular Youth Topics


Networking is a common business experience, and while these events present a fantastic opportunity to make new connections, they can be overwhelming. Who do you talk? What do you talk about? How do you move on from an awkward conversation? How do you know when someone is doing talking to you? You shouldn’t have to figure these things out on your own. Join us for body working. In this highly interactive session, we’ll explore the nonverbal side of networking. We’ll teach you how to the read subtle nonverbal cues which will give you an advantage in these challenging social situations

Go Up! Building Your Elevator Pitch

You have 30 second to explain why you are the right person for the job / opportunity / experience of your dream: what do you do? Life moves fast and sometimes we only get a little time to explain who we are. In this session we’ll focus on how to tell your story, and best sell yourself, when the right opportunity comes along.

The Im’Perfect Leader

In a world where we are expected to do everything, it sometimes feels like we can’t accomplish anything. Drawing from the concepts in Tal Ben-Shahar’s book “The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life” this session will explore the value of making mistakes, the seductive (yet unattainable) dream of perfectionism, and why optimalism may help us accomplish just enough to be happy.

This session is ideal for participants who are seeking a healthy method to manage expectations of their self and others.

Listen First, Then Talk

Teachers, parents, coaches – it can feel like everyone wants you to listen to them but how do you get them to listen to you? During this session we’ll explore why it’s hard for everyone to listen, adults and students alike, and why if you want people to hear you, you must show them that you have heard them first.

Learning Styles

Strong teams are composed of diverse perspectives. Together we will explore our individual learning styles which is the foundation for understanding ourselves and our teammates. Using the Learning Styles framework, we can effectively, and constructively, examine our team’s strengths and challenges. Learning Styles provides nonjudgmental, and objective, perspectives towards a better understanding of ourselves and our teammates.