Young Civics Leader Academy


Tara Campbell

2019 Fall Session Young Civic Leaders visit the town center.

Kobi Khong, Photojournalist

Tara Campbell, our own Yorba Linda mayor, is the youngest female in the United States, and with her new program she hopes to help bring up a new generation of students with the same goal- getting the youth interested in the inner workings of the government.


This year was the start of Tara Campbell’s new program: the Young Civic Leaders Academy of Yorba Linda (YCLA). Headed by Tara Campbell herself, alongside with Janice Lim, the head of Yorba Linda’s Parks and Recreation, the six-week program seeks to educate a group of twenty students from a variety of schools across Yorba Linda on how our government functions on a local level.


Covering topics from City Infrastructure and Public Utilities to Public Safety and Intergovernmental Relations, YCLA dives into a variety of different subjects. Each of the weekly conferences meet at locations across the city, from the Yorba Linda Water District to the Nixon Presidential Library. Students are introduced to the bureaucracy and politics that contribute to the functioning city of Yorba Linda, with guest speakers from different fields and departments which aid in regulating the city. 


For the first session, the young civic leaders met up with the mayor and her staff at the Yorba Linda city hall. There, they split into groups to create mock city budgets as an introduction to the different departments under the local government such as commissions, committees, and boards which contribute to the city. 


Session number two took place at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, and the students were taken on a tour of the former President’s home and history. Then, they had a conversation with the Orange County Fire Department Director and a lieutenant from the Orange County Police Department about the intergovernmental relationship of the city. 


The third session took place at the Yorba Linda Water District. At the session, the board of directors for the water district presented to the students on all the intricacies and infrastructure that allow for each citizen to have access to water within the city.


When asked about the program, Christopher Li (12), describe the experience as “an amazing opportunity to get interested in our local community and take a step into understanding the ways that our government works here in Yorba Linda“.


All in all, the program has been an amazing opportunity for students who are interested in administration to experience the many working parts that contribute to the wonderful city of Yorba Linda.