Middle School & High School

New this Year!

Following the success of last year’s program, BYS is launching two Lead from Within programs. A new group for middle school and one for high school. We are looking for 12 – 16 change-makers in each age group interested in committing to a year-long leadership development program that strengthens the foundations of your own well-being, helps you develop a personal leadership toolkit and enables you to support others in doing the same.

Well-being and leadership skills start from within and can be cultivated and grown. Everything we know about the brain suggests that learning these skills is not different than learning to play the violin… the more you practice, the better you will be.

Our definition of “leadership” is anyone who recognizes the potential in people and ideas and has the courage to develop that potential. So, anyone can be a leader, and the Lead from Within program offers participants multiple opportunities to support their peers through activities that make a positive impact.

In this year-long experiential program, with a community of peers and mentors you will:

  • Learn a variety of mindfulness/self-compassion practices
  • Grow your well-being toolkit through evidence-based practices
  • Gain insight into what really matters to you
  • Explore the traits of leaders you admire
  • Give back to your community through regular service opportunities

Meeting Expectations

Showing up to meetings is key to getting the most out of this program. Your presence at meetings also influences a sense of group connection and cohesion.

  • Arrive prepared for full participation in each meeting
  • Attend at least 75% of all meetings for the year
  • Be present, with an open mind and curiosity


  • All participants that have attended 75% or more of all meetings will receive a certificate and reference letter, upon request, that may be used for college resumes.

Lead from Within Requirements

  • Be a currently enrolled student at Woodward Middle School, Odyssey, Hyla, or WSA
  • Be a currently enrolled student at BHS or EHHS
  • Attend all Lead from Within meetings outlined above
  • Take on at least 1 – 2 leadership roles and responsibilities
  • Be responsible for completing your projects, presentations, and tasks
  • Read your emails each day and attend all meetings prepared for participation
  • Be an advocate for the mission, vision, and goals of the BYS, willing to present information to adults and peers

Program Cost to Student

  • Free

Calendar 2020/2021

  • Application deadline
    • High School: September 21 at 4:00pm
    • Middle School: January 19, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • Applicants notified
    • High School: September 28, 2020
    • Middle School: January 29, 2021
  • Weekly meetings during school year, 45 – 60 minute meetings, online or in-person depending on recommendations
  • May of 2020 there will be an end of year celebration, date TBD

If you have questions, please email Laura Counsel at, [email protected]

I have really wanted to develop my leadership skills and help my friends through hard times. Lead from Within has taught me about planning skills, leadership, mental health and mindfulness. It also provides a supportive caring community for student leaders who want to help others.

Are you ready to develop courage to:
show up
be seen
take risks
ask for help
own your mistakes
learn from failure
lean into joy
and support the people around you in doing the same?

If so, the BYS Lead from Within program might be right for you.

Apply now!