Leadership Development Series

YLC began the Leadership Development Series (LDS) as a service to its members in 2003. While we have been developing leadership in our members since 1986 through hands-on volunteerism, LDS was conceived as YLC's formalized leadership course to train members in numerous intangible and foundational leadership skills. LDS provides members the unique opportunity to learn from New Orleans top leaders as well as fellow YLC members.

How it works

The 2023 Leadership Development Series will be open for applications beginning July 1st. The series will run for 10-weeks starting on September 12, 2023. A big thank you to Laitram for sponsoring LDS again in 2023.

The Leadership Development Series (LDS) is a 10-week series that engages a diverse group of young professionals with interest in developing leadership, networking, and communication skills. 

LDS offers a hands-on approach to increasing leadership and networking traits through a multi-faceted framework of content speakers and small-group interactions. The series includes presentations from a diverse group of city leaders, covering a wide array of topics, including non-profit management, civic engagement, team building, and leadership. 

This year’s 2023 LDS Cohort will work towards creating a community project. LDS is committed to the selection of a class that is representative of the professional, racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity of young professionals in the Greater New Orleans Area. 

Past LDS guest speakers have included:

  • Michael Hecht | GNO Inc.
  • Jennifer Avegno | City of New Orleans
  • Rod Teamer | Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Lee Zurik | Fox 8 News
  • Adrianne Jackson | Magnolia Yoga Studio
  • Andrea Chen | Propeller
  • Patrick Comer | Lucid
  • Wes Palmisano | Impetus

How Do I Apply?

Entry to the class is competitive with approximately 20-30 students accepted each year. Cohort members are selected through an application process. 

Applications for the 2023 class are now closed. 

How Much Does It Cost?

There will be no tuition for this year’s series, but all participants must be members of YLC prior to the first LDS session. YLC Membership is $60 per individual. (Note: You do not have to be a YLC member when applying, but if accepted we will send a membership link to join YLC.)

What Is The Timeline?

Once applications close at the end of July the LDS selection committee group will meet to make final selections of the 2023 Cohort by mid-August.  Acceptance to the LDS program will need to be finalized by late-August. The LDS program will start on September 12, 2023 and run for 10-weeks. There will be an optional Cohort Welcome Happy Hour event the first week in September 2023.

What Can I Expect?

The 2023 series will be conducted in person at various sites in the Greater New Orleans area. The class will meet on Tuesday nights from 6pm to 8pm from September 12th through November 14th. Participants are not permitted to miss more than 2 of the 10 sessions during the series and there will be no virtual option.

A major component of the 2023 LDS Series is small-group collaboration for potential YLC projects and ideas created by LDS participants. Participants should be passionate about giving back to the greater New Orleans community and enhancing their individual leadership and communication skills. Since this year’s program will include the creation of a potential new YLC project, prospective participants should be prepared to discuss things they see as a community need/problem and collaborate on ways young professional leaders can come together to work to solve through events, projects, initiatives, ect. 

Recommendation(s) from current Board Member(s), past LDS graduate(s), or YLC members(s) are optional and can be included with your application. Supplemental information (e.g., resume, letters of recommendation) may be emailed to  

Minimal or no history of participation in YLC will not negatively impact your application.

Questions? Email LDS at


Project Leaders

Leo Arnett

Sydney Houlemard

Drew Chapman

Regina Davis

Nick Lacour

Looking for more opportunities? Check out these similar YLC projects that need YOUR help!