What People Are Saying About LYS 

From Elected and Appointed Officials

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and LYS Co-Founder Jo Pease

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and LYS Co-Founder Jo Pease

"“There is truly no place like Louisiana.  I want our young people to be as proud of our state as I am.  We need them to stay here, and as governor, it is my job to help make Louisiana the place they want to live, work, and raise a family.  Our youth are the future of Louisiana, and it’s important that we instill in them the confidence and desire to become leaders in our communities, so I was grateful to spend time visiting during this year’s Louisiana Youth Seminar.” – Gov. John Bel Edwards

"LYS more than any other thing helped me to believe in myself. It gave me the confidence and energy I had lost somewhere along the way." – Hon. Mary Landrieu, US Senator

"LYS is an outstanding program, and I have personally seen the positive impact it has had on students who attended. LYS gives students the skills and confidence they need to grow as a person and to contribute to their community and the larger world." – Hon. Michael J. "Mike" Michot, Former Louisiana State Senator District 23

"Louisiana is blessed with many gifted young leaders and the Louisiana Youth Seminar is a great opportunity to develop their talents. Many of tomorrow's leaders will come from our great state, and experiences gained at the Louisiana Youth Seminar will help shape the future of our brightest future leaders." – Hon. Steve Scalise, United States Congressman

"LYS has benefitted many young leaders by not only teaching tangible leadership skills and group dynamics, but also by fostering confidence. The next generations of leaders are returning from LYS to their high schools with personal motivation and the tools to achieve their dreams. LYS' proven effectiveness not only helps the students immediately involved, but it also improves our larger community by enabling success among future leaders." – Hon. Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD, United States Congressman

"Throughout my life, I have been involved with leadership development programs…I have seen LYS, and I am impressed. I strongly recommend this weeklong leadership camp for young leaders, who are striving to make a difference in their community and the State of Louisiana." – Hon. Jay Dardenne, Louisiana Lt. Governor

"In my position at the Department of Education, I meet and work with many involved in the education of the youth of Louisiana. In my view, LYS is an excellent program focused on developing young leaders. I support and recommend LYS as a great place to develop leadership skills." - Patrick J. Dobard, Former Deputy Director, Louisiana State Department of Education

"LYS brings the best possible leadership training to Louisiana's youth. I can personally say that this program achieves great results." – Hon. John Breaux, Former U.S. Senator                          

From Students


"The different involvement sessions taught me valuable lessons about working as a team and communicating effectively. LYS is truly a life changing experience."

"LYS is the only place I've ever found where every single person can be him or herself 100% of the time and never have to worry about not being accepted for it. It's the only place where everyone is free to break out of his/her shell, show his/ her true colors, and not worry about what other people are going to say. At LYS you are always accepted for who you are, so you never have to try and be anything but yourself… LYS helped me to grow into a person I never thought I could be."

"LYS is an experience like no other. I have learned how to formulate a plan to make my dreams come true."

"Try it, you'll love it. Not just for what you learn, but for what you will do, and who you will become because of it!"

"We were strangers one day, friends the next and trusted all along the way. I don't believe that can be beat anywhere."

"Not only have I learned how to communicate, organize and work under pressure, but how to love and accept people in a way I have never experienced before..." 

From Parents

"I have watched three kids come out of their shells as a result of LYS. You all have such a positive impact on the lives of these teens…it means so much to so many students, and it means a lot to the people that love those students too."

"My daughter has been deeply impacted by LYS… She is more willing to try new things, recognizing that is scary for her but also recognizing that she will be stronger in the long run. She is more willing to take chances, recognizing that she will never know if she can succeed if she does not try. She now believes in herself and not only has a dream for her life, but knows she has to set goals for herself and now says "I Will!""

"As a mother of two children with unique personalities, I give credit to LYS in helping them to develop quality leadership characteristics and demonstrate them in their own way. I wholeheartedly believe that LYS gave them lifelong skills… LYS provided them an opportunity to experience leadership, and I give credit to LYS for their ability to handle pressure and put their leadership skills into action on a daily basis."

From Educators

"Those who attended LYS demonstrated a new perspective for our entire school to note and to follow...I watched and what these student leaders exhibited in their behavior led the rest of the student body to follow their lead.” - Philip White, former Principal, McDonogh 35

"The universal theme from students returning from LYS is that they learned real-life lessons and learned how to get along with others who come from different backgrounds. There is a great need for programs like LYS that teach leadership and tolerance and help students to improve their sense of self." - Cindy Istre, Principal, Notre Dame High School

"LYS makes a significant impact on the youth who participate. The students come back with a 'can do' attitude, a focus on teamwork, more self confidence, improved communication skills, a deeper commitment to making a difference in their school and community.” - Chris Martin and Jerome Jacob, Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana

"I was a ‘fan' of LYS when it got off the ground in the 1970s… I had numerous students attend LYS in its infancy….I've always promoted programs that developed leadership qualities in students. The list is endless when we itemize those leadership qualities, from self-esteem to hard work and service. LYS is the premier organization in Louisiana that does this!" - Ray Simon, Former Principal, St. Thomas More Catholic High School

"LYS continually provides a life-changing experience for our students. The exuberance resonates from student to student as they share their experiences with us. Thank you for making such a difference in the lives of these young leaders." - Kimberly Simpson, Collegiate Admissions Consulting Services, LLC

"For many years, students from Teurlings Catholic High School have participated in the Louisiana Youth Seminar. Those juniors and seniors who attended LYS experienced a week's worth of life changing career oriented activities. I support and endorse LYS..." - Michael Boyer, Principal, Teurlings Catholic High School

"I was inspired by the examples set at LYS to believe in the possibilities that extend from a group of complete strangers coming together and getting to know one another and working to fulfill a common goal. That's the power of learning. That's the power of leadership. That's LYS." - Nghana Lewis, PhD, Tulane University, LYS Delegate 1989


From Business Leaders

"LYS is an outstanding program with a proven track record…I have heard nothing but praise from business and community leaders that have seen the positive impact it has had on students who attended." - Richard E. Zuschlag, Chairman & CEO, Acadian Ambulance Service

"The Shell Chemical Geismar Plant has sponsored students to attend LYS for many years… I have had the opportunity to attended LYS sessions and to meet with students. I can personally say that LYS teaches the students leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. But, much more than that, LYS helps to develop the self-esteem of these young leaders. They experience the many aspects of diversity that can add value in building effective teams. These young leaders have the potential to be the catalyst for positive changes that will need to be made as our future unfolds." - Gary Lacombe, Former Communications Manager, Shell Chemical LP