Future Leaders provides a comprehensive youth empowerment program in our public schools and in the community year-around. The FLA Way teaches young leaders to take pride in their cultural diversity, strengthens leadership capacity, while inspiring a value in education to achieve one’s full potential for success through the academic, career, and life choices they make now and in the future.
FLA envisions a world where every youth regardless of where they come from is empowered to take responsibility for their own destiny by becoming leaders in their own lives, their families, and community.
In service to community, Future Leaders of America provides leadership training, educational experiences, and promotes the personal development of youth and families, for the purpose of fostering a greater awareness and participation in responsible leadership in a global and democratic society.
The organization was first founded as a grassroots response to concerns about the high incidence of destructive behaviors in Latino youth including high school dropouts, gang activity, substance abuse, lack of parent involvement and limited civic engagement, amongst other high-risk behaviors. The founder, Gil Cuevas, also saw a void of Latino/a leaders and role model for youth. Unfortunately, not much has changed since 1982. Oxnard and Santa Barbara still face high incidence of high risk activities among Latino/a youth.
Year round programming is provided to participants that continue to engage them in leadership, education and advocacy through University Seminars, Youth groups, Facilitator training and Family Leadership camps. With this program, FLA has opened doors to new realities to over 8,000 unduplicated youth throughout the state of California. With the support of FLA, Latino/a youth have attended prestigious universities around the nation including Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, UCSB, UCLA, and Duke to name a few. FLA youth have gone on to become successful lawyers, educators, non-profit leaders and elected officials! Because of FLA, youth succeed!
Today, Future Leaders embraces its rich and longstanding history by renewing its commitment to helping youth achieve their full potential in school, their career choices, and in life. Our peer to peer model continues to provide youth opportunities to succeed in leadership and in school.