Mayor’s Youth Leaders in Action (MYLA)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MYLA logoThe City of Virginia Beach Mayor’s Youth Leaders in Action (MYLA) is a group of thirty (30) socially, economically and ethnically diverse middle and high school youth from across the city. The group was created with the belief that young people, if given the opportunity, could be meaningfully and successfully involved in making and impacting decisions that affect their lives. 

MYLA is a youth-led program that exists to be a positive force in the community through leadership, service, education, and representation. 

Leadership: develop and/or enhance youth leadership skills such as time management, organizational skills, decision making, teambuilding, goal setting, and mentoring​

Service: volunteer opportunities through city events, building camaraderie amongst the group to inspire and motivate others, build relationships, show a commitment to the community, and develop professionalism

Education: share knowledge and facilitate learning through training youth and adults on various topics, facilitating and coordinating leadership workshops and retreats, developing creativity and public speaking skills

Representation: opportunities to serve on city and community boards and committees and provide a youth perspective as well as networking opportunities

 About Us


President: Isabella Small
Vice President: Nina Dao
Secretary: Tristen Gambito
Reporter/Historian: Kaitlyn Stevens

High Schools Represented:

Bayside High School
First Colonial High School
Green Run Collegiate
Kellam High School
Kempsville High School
Ocean Lakes High School
Princess Anne High School
Tallwood High School
Landstown High School​

Middle Schools Represented:​

Kempsville Middle School
Landstown Middle School
Larkspur Middle School 
Plaza Middle School
Old Donation School

MYLA has been recognized with the following awards:
  • ​​Debra L. Elam Outstanding Youth Volunteer Group Award​
  • Debra L. Elam Outstanding Youth Volunteer Individual Award​
  • Virginia Beach Best All Around Youth Group Award
  • Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) Conference 2015 Mini Grant
  • Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) Conference Wheeler Award

 Join MYLA

​Youth are accepted into the program through a selection process led by current MYLA officers. Prospective youth must submit an application, two (2) recommendation letters, and a copy of their most recent report card to​. Pending review, applicants will be notified of their status. An interview and program visit may be scheduled. Apply below. 

Membership Documents

What will you gain as a member of MYLA?

  • ​Have your voice heard
  • Learn how to be an effective leader
  • Feel valued as a member of the community
  • Make a difference in the lives of others
  • Network with community leaders
  • Learn about your community
  • Gain the knowledge of community partnerships​

Learn more about MYLA at our Virtual Open House. Register here


“The MYLA program is the single biggest asset to to both Virginia Beach and the young people who comprise this innovated and talented group. As a roughly 3 year MYLA alum and a rising college senior, the program has prompted discussion in interviews and has shaped not only an extensive resume for myself, but has shaped myself as well. Thanks to MYLA, I developed confidence in my voice as a young person and have not been quiet since. Truly thankful for a program that cultivates the minds and spirits of Virginia Beach’s brightest!” -Katelyn Jordan

​"I started with MYLA in my freshman year. Joining this group was the greatest decision I made in high school. It was an amazing opportunity to plan events, encourage a better community for the youth of the city, and to meet the people that work tirelessly day in and day out to leave the city in a better position for all. Through MYLA, I learned time management and prioritization. This played a key role in college as I was able to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting in just three years. It is because of MYLA that I have become goal oriented and self-motivated and I have MYLA to thank for the person that I have become today. It was just a plus that I was able to land a great job with everything that I learned in MYLA. I am currently working at Hanes Brands Inc. as an Internal Auditor." -Elizabeth “Liz” Friss​

“Since joining MYLA, my daughter Destinee Pearson has matured in many ways. I have watched my daughter go from a shy quite young lady to someone that is willing to lead and looking for more ways to get involved in her community. MYLA offers young people the opportunity to be leaders in the community and role models to their peers. MYLA has helped mold my daughter into a committed young lady who has shown a responsibility and passion to change her community. Her mother and I are very proud of the positive change that MYLA is making in her life." - Pastor Virges Pearson Jr.

 Photo Gallery


​MYLA Youth worked in partnership with the Teen Media Studio to create a video for the Season for Nonviolence, and a video of the Mayor's Brunch event. Check out the videos below. 

Contact Information

 Connect With Us!