Leadership Institute Overview

YLNI’s Leadership Institute connects young professionals with their peers and their community as they advance in their career skills. Through hands-on instruction, small group activities, personal reflection, and sharing, participants develop skills needed to help them grow in their careers and community. Topics range from personality recognition and communication effectiveness to board stewardship and diversity in the workplace. This program consists of a kick-off event, six all-day sessions, and a graduation celebration spread out across 4 months. The schedule will be released when applications open.


  • Become an active member of YLNI. Following graduation, you will receive a complimentary 1-year YLNI membership.
  • Develop practical, real-world leadership skills
  • Learn from a diverse group of community leaders
  • Network with young professionals in a variety of fields
  • Join the YLNI Leadership Institute alumni network! (Since 2006, 500 local leaders have completed the Leadership Institute program.


$500 for non-YLNI members and $400 for current YLNI members
(includes a 1-year YLNI membership following graduation)

Employers of emerging leaders should consider sponsoring their participation.


  • Members and Non-members of YLNI
  • Emerging leaders and professionals
  • Potential leaders in corporate, nonprofit, education, and health care
  • Community volunteers
  • Historically, we have found those aged 24-40 typically apply, but we certainly encourage anyone who considers themselves a young leader to apply.


  • Applications open in November
  • Class size is limited; we do ask for authentic and well-thought-out responses, as well as current resume or CV, current headshot, and letter of recommendation.
  • Connect with us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to see when applications open up.
  • Submit your application when the submission period opens!


Six class sessions will be held at various meeting spaces in the Fort Wayne area. Schedule and specific class descriptions are listed below. 

**Our intent is to try and start classes in person and if needed, go virtual.


Questions or Inquiries? 

E-mail institute@ylni.org 

2021 Sponsors