The Academy offers a high expectation, excuse-free learning environment with a strong college-going culture. Students are immersed in learning and growth opportunities that ensure they develop the content knowledge, life skills, scholastic aptitude and power to succeed in college and beyond.

The Academy will promote, encourage, and support academic excellence. Its curricular programs and resources will assist in the development of ethical, academically accomplished young men and women who are confident in their abilities, innovative in their thinking, and active members of their community. The Academy will make significant use of technology such as computers, smart boards and tablet computers, MP3 players and cell phones for student learning.

Students will demonstrate excellence in core academic disciplines

a. Read and write well;
b. Listen skillfully and communicate clearly;
c. Show a meaningful understanding of mathematics—see relationships and patterns, compute fluently and apply skills and procedures to solve problems;
d. Show knowledge of historical events and an understanding of historical research, sources, chronology and interpretation;
e. Show knowledge of scientific principles and an ability to apply methods of scientific inquiry.

College for All

Our expectation is that ALL students will attend selective colleges and universities. Students will be exposed to various opportunities to support and enhance the college-going culture. Activities will shape students beliefs and confidence about college success.

  • College Courses
  • Project-based learning – Connect projects with college students and professors
  • College Fairs – bring college representatives to school
  • College Visits – locally and out of state
  • Academic coaching
  • ACT Prep classes

College Support Staff

College Transition Advisor – will work with students beginning in junior year. Help students maneuver college application process, including FAFSA, scholarship applications, assists families (many first generation college) – to ensure all students will apply and be accepted to college. Ensure a college-going culture.College Success Advisor – Begins working with students in Senior year. Acts as an ombudsman, advocate, and assists with funding to remain in college, housing, tutoring and other student support services including counseling. Encourages and supports students throughout college. Tracks student success: credits attempted/earned, GPA, remedial courses taken, retention.

On Track to Graduate

Our goal is for students to attend college without taking remedial classes. Students have to be on track and successful throughout their entire high school career. An “On Track to Graduate” system will be put in place to guarantee that all students are on a path to college. This process is student led and supported by all Academy staff to ensure that students are accountable for their learning. Students will set goals and complete a set of rigorous portfolio requirements that will be presented in front of a panel.

Dual Enrollment

Academy students will be eligible for Dual Enrollment opportunities at several local colleges and universities. Dual enrollment provides an opportunity for Academy students with demonstrated academic potential to enroll in selected college courses while completing their high school graduation requirements.Current College Partnerships

  • U of M Dearborn
  • Henry Ford Community College


We believe in the power of a community to lift individuals and that is our job to prepare children to build and be part of such communities. We also believe it is our job to lead teachers, parents and community partners, through an open exchange of ideas, to share a sense of responsibility for the success of each child.Academy staff connects community service to classroom academics through service learning projects. Students collaborate with staff and community members to plan and design service learning projects. Students also engage in thoughtful reflection following each project and create presentations that are shared with the community.The Academy is committed to working with students to acquire an appreciation of world cultures, diversity and global inter-connectedness. Our goal is for students to leave the Academy as well-educated, responsible, compassionate individuals who have participated in numerous opportunities to travel abroad and are ready to make a positive difference in the world.

Students will develop awareness, understanding, and appreciation of what it means to be part of a community

a. Work effectively with peers and others to achieve a goal;
b. Manage time and resources to meet commitments and obligations;
c. Understand the roles of a leader, a follower, and an individual in a group;
d. Understand and respect the differences within and among various communities and negotiate differences with others tactfully.
e. Complete a minimum of 80 hours of community service

Personal Power

We believe that every child is unique and personally powerful. Pursuing personal passions and participating in the arts, physical activities and community service promote both understanding of the world and appreciation for individual differences. We see children as active participants in creating their futures and feel it is our job to constantly encourage children to explore and reflect, cultivating knowledge of self and a sense of personal efficacy and power.The Academy promulgates strong, well-grounded moral values and ethical behaviors as a foundation for one’s life and responsible citizenship. In keeping with these beliefs, the school provides instruction in the basic tenets of values and ethical behaviors essential to responsible citizenship within a democratic society.The Academy will also provide a holistic health and wellness program that fosters both the mental and physical development of the whole student. Students will develop a strong lifelong commitment to personal responsibility for their own health and wellness.

Students will develop a clear sense of purpose and path and pursue a personal passion

a. Set goals and reflect accurately on progress toward those goals;
b. Demonstrate self-discipline and work hard to achieve goals;
c. Recognize personal strengths and weaknesses;
d. Demonstrate curiosity about the world and an eagerness to learn and grow;
e. Appreciate many kinds of positive, personal expression (including the arts, music, language, sports and hobbies);
f. Acquire expertise in and passion for at least one of these activities;
g. Recognize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

Pursuing your Passion

Our goal is to connect our students to mentors in various fields across Detroit and the surrounding communities. Beginning in the 11th grade, all students will work with our full-time Director of Internships, to facilitate work-based learning through career exploration and extended internships.In addition to internship opportunities, all students will participate in an entrepreneurship class which will focus on developing an entrepreneurial mindset while teaching students about starting businesses. Entrepreneurial habits such as perseverance, collaboration, motivation and effective communication will be integrated across all core content areas.


The Academy incorporates Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with academics to set a strong foundation for the school’s culture. Teachers directly and indirectly teach students the meaning and value of the 7 Habits: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw. The habits show students the importance of being a leader, making good choices, and developing a good work ethic, all of which are characteristics of a successful college student, entrepreneurs, and/or employee. The process also teaches students personal leadership and 21st century life skills, such as goal setting, time management, teamwork, problem solving, respecting diversity, and life balance.The Academy will provide students with opportunities to learn and practice essential leadership skills within the school and surrounding community. Student voice and choice are essential to developing leaders. Students will create, run and participate in student led clubs. Like computers? Start a computer club. Like chess? Start a chess club. Like debate? Start a debate club. The choice is yours.


The Academy promotes and supports entrepreneurship. An entrepreneurial theme will be the focus of projects, giving context and motivation for learning and providing students with real-world learning experiences in which to apply learning across all content areas. Workshops are designed to provide students with the skills needed to work successfully in a project-based and entrepreneurial learning environment. Skills include time management, organization, communications, presentation, leadership development, use of technology, problem solving, brainstorming and researching and meeting Common Core standards.Students will have opportunities to:

  • Participate in entrepreneurial competitions;
  • Solve problems in the community by being a social entrepreneur;
  • Create their own business;
  • Work with business leaders and mentors in the community.


As students enter 10th grade, they will begin participating in job shadows and internships as a way to connect them to organizations and mentors in the community, provide a real-world, relevant connection to academics and gain a more in-depth understanding of a potential career.Internship participants graduate with academic knowledge, field experience and interpersonal skills which may accelerate their progress in their chosen career and/or acceptance into a college or professional program and provide a competitive advantage in their future career. Internships will be driven by student interests and passions.


The Y Detroit Leadership Academy High School is a public charter school funded through State School Aid. As an alternative to the Detroit Public School system, parents do not pay tuition for their children to attend our charter school.

Grade Levels Served by DLA

The DLA Elementary School educates children from Pre-K through 8th grade, and our DLA High School currently serves 9th and 10th grade students. DLA will be expanding to 11th and 12th Grades within two years, so students now enrolling will be able to finish High School at DLA.

How to Apply for Admission

To apply for admission to the YMCA Detroit Leadership Academy, please download an application. Once your application is complete, either:

1. Drop it off at school

Applications can be left at the main office of the Detroit Leadership Academy High School.

2. Drop it off at your local YMCA

YMCA staff can collect your completed application at the front desk. To find out which YMCA is nearest you, please click here.

3. Mail it to the following address:

YMCA Detroit Leadership Academy High School
5845 Auburn St.
Detroit, Michigan 48228

4. Fax it to 313-242-1527, our school office

An open lottery process will be used if the number of applicants exceeds capacity.


We are pleased to answer any questions about our school. For more information, please contact our Principal at 313-769-2015.

School Location

The Y Detroit Leadership Academy High School is conveniently located on Auburn Street, which is just off of Evergreen Road, near the intersection with Ford Road (M-153) in Detroit.

DLA High School Address

YMCA Detroit Leadership Academy High School
5845 Auburn St.
Detroit, Michigan 48228
Phone: 313-769-2015

Using the interactive map below, you can scan the nearby area or get directions to the DLA school.

Contact DLA High

Questions about DLA High?

We are pleased to answer any questions about our school. To contact us, you may fill out the form below and we will respond as quickly as possible.

However, don't hesitate to call us on the phone at 313-769-2015.

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