yla about Urban Tech
Gala 2014

About YLA

The National Urban Technology Center, Inc. (Urban Tech) develops education curriculum. YLA is a technology rich, e-learning platform and curriculum designed to help students build the critical social, emotional, and academic skills necessary to graduate high school, succeed in postsecondary education, make career choices, flourish in the workplace, and be productive citizens.

YLA aims to:
Teach essential social/life skills to students in a language and manner that
   engages and supports them
Promote literacy, academic excellence, health-related and financial education
Build self-esteem, leadership, teamwork, and community awareness
Build digital literacy and STEM skills to support 21st Century options and
   opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Develop career goals and workforce readiness
Enhance teacher confidence in implementing social and emotional
   learning (SEL) initiatives.

The Youth Leadership Academy is designed based on Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" with a specific focus on social and emotional learning (SEL). The program is designed with the principal belief that young people learn best when the information is relevant, the content provides a real-world context/experience, and when they work as teams to support, motivate, and problem-solve. Furthermore, YLA utilizes technology and technology-based learning to provide an engaging and powerful learning experience.

Recognizing that young people learn in many different ways, YLA uses varied approaches to build and reinforce skills, including culturally sensitive animated scenarios and case-study analysis to engage the attention of youth; interactive exercises and e-journals to promote participation; and simulation for problem-solving and decision-making skills.

YLA has been successfully executed in many varied environments. Our curriculum is primarily designed for students ages 8-14. However, there are curriculum modules that are available for high school and special needs students, ages 15-18. YLA is effective for struggling as well as high-achieving learners. Based on almost 17 years of external evaluations and achieving excellent results for our students, we know our program model works.

YLA can be easily integrated with core curriculum and is aligned with the new Common Core Standards.

The following curricula are available:
Life/Social Skills Curriculum
Computer Skills for Youth