The mission of the Center for Leadership Development is to foster the advancement of minority youth in Central Indiana as future professional, business and community leaders by providing experiences that encourage personal development and educational attainment.
This vision – empowering youth and strengthening community – became clear in the mid 1970’s when Indianapolis community leaders identified several reasons why African American youth were failing to graduate from high school, not entering college and failing to achieve economically sound and personally rewarding careers. Youth did not value education as an aspirational goal, they were not aware of the many options available to them, and they did not have the support of family and community. African American role models were not stepping forward in enough force to mentor and guide these young people.
Responding to the many serious obstacles facing minority youth, these visionary leaders founded the Center for Leadership Development. Since that time, CLD has developed programs and events which deliver exceptional experiences to both students and parents. The programs are based on CLD’s Five Principles for Success – five core values that develop and prepare youth for the highest levels of academic achievement, career success and community service.