The Ed Smith

Leadership Circle 

For more than twenty years, YLF mentors have supported parents as the primary educator while providing quality character education for youth in our nation's capital. 

The Ed Smith Leadership Circle consists of individuals in the Washington Metropolitan area who are invested in the practice of daily virtue and family life for the development of personal character.

 

Members of the  Ed Smith Leadership Circle, support the legacy of Professor Ed Smith in YLF programs, who championed the importance of the humanities and oratory in the development of personal character. We welcome you to learn more about Professor Smith and the Circle. 

Schedule a visit to YLF Programs or join Prof. Smith and YLF families on a tour of African-American landmarks in historic Washington below. 

The Legacy of

Professor Ed Smith 

 

In 1952, a blind mother took her child to Arlington National Cemetery. The child fell in love with history and vowed to read a book a week for the rest of his life. In 1960, that child had kept his promise, graduating near the top of the first-ever desegregated class from Western High School (now Duke Ellington High School). Lacking resources to attend college, a young Edward Smith began working in the mail room of the White House for President Johnson during the War on Poverty. His talent for writing became evident at this time and paved the way for his success as: the first African-American tenured Professor of American University; the founder of that university's Civil War Institute; a speech writer for President Carter; and a founder of the Heights School in Potomac, MD. In 1997, in collaboration with two Catholic Study Centers, he founded the Youth Leadership Foundation. Since 1997, the organization has supported character development in the character of more than 4,000 students. YLF hosts after school mentoring, summer enrichment and high school leadership programs. In his ability to channel in our history to teach us about ourselves, Edward C. Smith achieves the aim of the consummate educator: to instruct the human soul. 

Ed Smith Leadership Circle Membership

A Pledge In Support of Our Vision

As Our Thank You

As a member of the Ed Smith Leadership Circle you join a society of membership that is deeply invested in the pursuit of family life and the practice of daily virtue in the spirit of YLF's co-founder, Prof. Ed Smith throughout our nation's capital. Members commit through multi-year and/or monthly sustaining pledges to our mission and vision. Members become ambassadors for our programs by hosting thank you receptions and invitational dinners at their homes and clubs.

Members are cordially invited to attend exclusive events including the annual Ed Smith Summer Showcase, historical tours curated by Professor Smith, and dinners hosted by other Circle Members. Each event is an opportunity to meet YLF's inspiring students and witness their poise and talent. New Members receive The Collected Works of Ed Smith and Membership pin.

 

Kindly consider joining the Ed Smith Leadership Circle to support the practice of daily virtue and personal development through mentorship among the youth in our Nation's capital.

Legacy Membership secures mentoring at a school partner for a full year ($50,000) 

As our thank you, Members receive:

  • A table of eight at the SOS Dinner .

  • An honorary naming opportunity of the sponsored mentoring program 

Platinum Membership secures mentoring for a school program (PALS or TAP) for a full year ($25,000) 

As our thank you, Members receive:

  • A table of eight at the SOS Dinner .

  • Invitations to provide forward commentary to The Collected Works

  • An honorary naming opportunity of the sponsored mentoring program (PALS/TAP)

Gold Membership sponsors eight students for a full year ($10,000)

As our thank you, Members receive:

  • Four tickets to the SOS Dinner

  • Invitations to special readings of Professor Smith's works

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