The Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, Inc. (CLYLP) was founded in 1982 with the primary purpose of preparing students to participate in California’s economic, social and political development. CLYLP is guided by the overall theme "California’s Future Leaders," and its programs emphasize the importance of culture, community, college and careers.
Since the inception of CLYLP, high school students from throughout the state of California have participated in a week-long, intensive leadership training program in Sacramento known since 2020 as the Statewide Leadership Conference (previously the Sacramento Leadership Conference) each year. Regional leadership institutes have also developed and held in the Central Valley and Los Angeles, the Central Valley Institute (previously the San Joaquin Valley Institute), the Los Angeles Institute, and the Bay Area Institute, beginning in 1999, 2005, and 2014 respectively. Alumni programs include the Comcast Fellowship, a month-long leadership program based in Sacramento, and the Ellie Enriquez Peck Alumni Internship Program, a year-long professional development and mentorship program working with the Board of Directors and the Roberto Gracia and Sal Castro Memorial Scholarship Programs. Alumni have ongoing opportunities to continue their development as leaders including serving as role models for other students, networking with other alumni and through their involvement with CLYLP committees.
CLYLP enters young people's lives at a crucial moment with high impact activities that can dramatically alter their futures. CLYLP motivates them to pursue their education and become involved, engaged members of their communities. CLYLP programs enhance their leadership skills, academic preparedness, self-esteem, and cultural awareness. More than 4,400 students have gone through CLYLP programs and more than 90% of these have gone on to attend college. Many CLYLP alumni have become successful leaders in both the public and private sector.
CLYLP’s success is founded on its model, which combines community-based leadership, volunteer activism and partnership. Approximately 200 volunteers, including many CLYLP alumni, form the backbone of CLYLP efforts, contributing an estimated 25,000 hours of volunteer time per year. Volunteers coordinate and staff all of the programs, including all logistics, and fundraising activities. Thus, the CLYLP model promotes and provides leadership development directly to students who participate in CLYLP programs, but also year round to the hundreds of volunteers throughout California who work with CLYLP.
CLYLP's partners have been an integral part of the program, providing resources, financial support, and opportunities for youth and assistance with program delivery. Partners include the California Latino Legislative Caucus, the University of California system, the California State University system, the California Community Colleges, the Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities and over 50 private foundations and organizations. Together, the alumni, volunteers and partners create a community of leaders and a network of support. This network provides avenues for both youth and adults to develop their own leadership skills while contributing to the development of future leaders.