Arts & Culture,
Children & Youth,
Cultural & Ethnic Awareness,
Youth Community Service Clubs
Mission: In service to community, FLA provides leadership training, educational experiences, and promotes the personal development of Latino youth for the purpose of fostering a greater awareness and participation in responsible leadership in a global and democratic society. For the past twenty years, FLA has developed hundreds of volunteers, graduates of the basic leadership camp, who continue to implement their newfound skills and educate new groups of youth and parent participants. FLA teaches youth specific skills through a peer-to-peer mentorship model that helps youth: increase academic achievement, give service to their communities, and to reach out beyond their existing social group to participate in a broader range of social and cultural activities. Youth who complete the basic leadership camp, continue their involvement in FLA by participating in FLA clubs in their high school, attending staff training camp for volunteers, joining the cadre of volunteer staff to run future camps for new youth and families, as well as coordinating events and workshops in schools, local government, and universities.
Geographic areas served: Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Ventura and parts of Los Angeles, California
Programs: Future Leaders of America (FLA), is a grass roots organization that builds resiliency in youth and strengthens families and communities through more than 30 formal and informal annual programs. Students begin the FLA experience in their freshmen year in high school. After students complete the Leadership Camp, they are eligible to attend an annual Staff Training Conference that trains students to move up the various levels of volunteer positions: A-team, Peer Facilitator, Facilitator, Intern, and Director. (4 day program in June and December)In addition to multilevel leadership training, FLA believes in a holistic approach to empower individuals and groups. This includes among many diverse programs, retreats on family issues, civic engagement, social justice, institutionalized racism, human sexuality, arts and culture. FLA partners with other community based organizations and colleges/universities to offer Enrichment Workshops such as: "Justice in America" held at the Ventura County courts & holding facility; "Latina Superwoman" held at Oxnard College; and "Cinco de Mayo con Orgullo" where students teach elementary school students to be aware of cultural symbols used to encourage underage drinking around this holiday. Each year, topics are selected based on the requests and the issues faced by the community served. (Fall, Winter, Spring)The teenagers who run FLA programs, have now brought their parents into the organization and have helped plan programs for them that inform and empower them as American citizens, and, as a consequence, help improve the lives of younger siblings. Family Leadership Conferences are held twice a year, from infants to grandparents, to help families bond and demonstrate support to one another (3-day camps in November and February). Parents learn to seek new resources, advocate for their children and be open minded to the vast range of opportunities available for their children and family in America.Parents are now organizing Parent Advocacy Groups in their neighborhoods with the assistance of FLA staff as trainers and mentors. These parents are taking night classes to learn English, running for positions in parent groups to address the causes of Latino underachievement, and becoming involved in promoting positive change in the governance of their communities. (December - May)