South Carolina Youth Leadership Academy
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About the Academy

YLA's innovative model is ideal for self-motivated students who want to experience success outside the traditional middle school setting in a small group, hands-on learning environment with a rigorous curriculum based on teamwork. With teachers as facilitators instead of conveyors of knowledge, our student-centered curriculum shifts the responsibility for learning to the student and encourages each learner to be responsible for his or her own academic success.

The Campus

Located on the 33-acre campus of Clemson University's Youth Learning Institute in Pickens, SC, the South Carolina Youth Leadership Academy is authorized by the South Carolina Public Charter School District.

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Our Growth

We have quickly grown from a small group of 48 sixth and seventh grade students into a full-fledged charter school of 144 students.

What is a Charter School?

A charter school is a public school that is allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable to the same academic standards as all state public schools. In addition to the flexibility inherent in a school-based organizational structure, charter schools enjoy the extra scope to innovate with curriculum and staff. Charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, are part of the public education system, do not charge tuition and are open to any student who desires to apply for admission.


To apply for enrollment at YLA, please download and complete the application. We will review your application and respond promptly. Thank you for your interest in our program!

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