Youth Leadership Conferences



Multi-Day YLCs are free educational conferences giving US high school students the chance to develop leadership skills via patriotic education. Students attending public, charter and private high schools or who are home-schooled usually participate as juniors or seniors. Single-day YLCs are available for elementary and secondary school students. MOWW interviews, selects and pays for YLC attendance.

MOWW sponsors ~25 multi-day YLCs in 17 states, and single-day YLCs. Some YLCs are conducted under Resolutions of Cooperation with the National Sojourners (multi-day) and the Joe Foss Institute (single-day). MOWW also encourages Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) seminar attendance. The National association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) lists MOWW’s YLCs on the National Advisory List of Contests and Activities.

YLC attendees receive patriotic education, including elements of leadership needed to maintain a free society, concepts of a free enterprise system, and the founding principles upon which the US was built. Attendees develop an appreciation for the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc., and an awareness of the civic responsibilities associated with preserving rights and freedoms. Students also develop leadership and public speaking skills that help them be better citizens and future leaders.

The general curriculum goal is 50% of class time is devoted to leadership, 30% to US history and US Government, and 20% to the Free Enterprise System and the US economy. Students interact with instructors and peers in small group discussions, debates, skits, etc., Most YLCs conduct a mock trial using an actual US court case. Students also make oral and written presentations.

Students write a short essay during the communications class or during the application process, and may receive an award for the written submissions.

  • Best Essay: Judges evaluate all essays, select the top ten, and then pick the top three in the category “Best Essay.” There is normally a $100 award for the Best Essay, a $75 award for each 1st Runner-Up and a $25 award for each 2nd Runner-Up, presented at the YLC Awards Banquet.
  • Outstanding Student Award: Recipients normally receive a Bronze Patrick Henry Award and cash.
  • Phoenician Award: MOWW National presents the Phoenician Award recipient a cash award of $2,000 to the Outstanding Student from a multi-day YLC that writes the best essay on a specific national issue. Second and Third place recipients are awarded $1,000 and $500 respectively.

SUPERVISION—Instructors lead YLC classes and Team Leaders/Counselors supervise students (typically 10-12). Directors and Assistant Directors (at least one adult male and one adult female) supervise Team Leaders/Counselors. During multi-day YLCs, students live in dorms with team members of their gender. Adults supervise students of their gender. Social activities are chaperoned.


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