James River Leadership Academy

James River Leadership Academy

The James River Leadership Academy (JRLA) is a year-long leadership program for rising 10th and 11th grade high school students who are interested in advocating for the future of the James River. The goal of JRLA is to engage, develop, train, and inspire participants in preparation of taking personal and community-wide action to address issues facing the James River.

JRLA Program Overview

Participants commit to JRLA for one academic year during which they participate in four Leadership Sessions. The activities during these Sessions include discussions, team building exercises, environmental ethics, and outdoor appreciation.

JRLA participants will be required to implement a “community-based action project” outside of the Leadership Sessions. JRLA staff will help students meet project goals by matching them with a professional mentor to create project objectives and timelines. In addition, JRLA staff will provide an ongoing list of events and opportunities throughout the watershed so students stay engaged with community-based environmental awareness.

Apply Today!

Please download and read our 2017-2018 program information packet. Applicants must be available for the entirety of all Leadership Sessions including overnights. All materials, gear and meals are provided. Participants must provide reliable transportation to and from Leadership Sessions and necessary personal items. Applications are due March 22, 2017!


Program Impacts

Since 2015, JRLA has influenced positive change throughout our 10,000 square mile watershed.

    • 33 students engaged
    • 13 schools and 7 counties represented
    • 264 community service hours completed
    • 70 + volunteers engaged
    • 15 + professional mentors engaged
    • 3 bird nesting platforms built
    • 25 acres of riparian buffer zone restored
    • 5 education and outreach materials of various media generated
    • 3 art installations created

Program Information Packet

JRLA Information Packet 2017 (PDF)



JRLA Application 2017 (PDF)


For more information

If your group or organization would like more information about the James River Leadership Academy, please contact Charles Johnson, Environmental Educator, (804)788-8811 ext 220 or cjohnson@jrava.org.

2016 James River Leadership Academy

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