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Michigan Youth Leadership Academy (MiYLA™)

The Michigan Youth Leadership Academy (MiYLA) provides students, ages 14-15, with the opportunity to develop leadership skills and build positive relationships with law enforcement officers. The students spend five days at the Michigan State Police (MSP) Training Academy in Lansing, where they receive instruction from officers from their hometown police department and the MSP. MiYLA forms a foundation of responsibility, respect and trust, benefitting the students, the law enforcement officers and the community.

During the academy, students are provided with clothing to wear throughout the week and take home. Prior to graduation, students perform a community service project in their hometown, such as a neighborhood clean-up effort or packaging items at a local food pantry.  A graduation ceremony for each class is held in the hometown and includes representatives from local agencies.


Students experience physical activity, military drill, water safety, interviewing skills, alcohol and drug awareness, gang awareness, domestic violence awareness, first aid, leadership, public speaking, life skills, and other team and character-building exercises. The students also tour Michigan State University, the State Capitol, and participate in team-building exercises.


Students meet with a law enforcement mentor both individually and in a group setting to help strengthen relationships between youth and law enforcement. The student to staff mentoring ratio is 3:1.


The MSP partners with several local organizations to identify potential students for MiYLA. Students are recruited by MSP community service troopers as well as officers from the local police department.


The MSP has hosted the MiYLA since 2005.  As of July 2019, 1,219 students have attended, representing the cities of Benton Harbor, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, Detroit, Flint, Houghton Lake, Inkster, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, Niles, Pontiac, Saginaw, and Ypsilanti.  This project was supported by Byrne JAG # 15PBJA-21-GG-00248-MUMU and 15PBJA-22- GG-00642-MUMU awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and administered by the Michigan State Police (MSP). Points of view or opinions contained within this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the MSP or DOJ.