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National Council on Youth Leadership - Greater Des Moines Area Chapter

NCYL is an exclusive leadership seminar that is held annually at Drake University. Approximately 250 students from 23 area high schools are selected to attend for their leadership qualities and scholastic record. 

View the 2021 NCYL members.

Special Messages to the NCYL Class of 2021

2021 NCYL Speaker Bios 

Judge Romonda D. Belcher
Iowa’s District Associate Judge: District 5 C

Marta Codina
Region Bank President, Wells Fargo Bank

Renee Hardman
West Des Moines City Councilwoman, Member at Large & Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa

Miriam H. Lewis
Chief Inclusion Officer, Principal Group

Skylar Mayberry-Mayes
Office of Corporate Citizenship & External Affairs, Nationwide

Scott Raecker
Executive Director, The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University

Jeff Russell
President and Chief Executive Officer, Delta Dental of Iowa 


NCYL Photo Board Display by Tim Vorland Photography

  • September 13-27: Jordan Creek Mall
  • September 27- October 11: Valley West Mall
  • October 11 – October 19: Merle Hay Mall
  • October 19 – November 1: Iowa Hall of Pride
  • November 1 – November 15: Iowa Methodist Medical Center (downtown)
  • Dates to be announced: Mercy West


Update on September 13 recognition event

Given the rapidly changing impacts of the Delta COVID-19 variant on our community, the Des Moines Chapter of the National Council on Youth Leadership (NCYL) board, in consultation with our event partners at The Ray Center at Drake University, will forego hosting the 2021 NCYL Youth Leadership event on September 13 as an in-person event.

While this is disappointing news, we are focused on being good citizens and making choices that protect the safety of others. Minimizing the risk of COVID-19 infections is a shared responsibility. We want to avoid potential student exposure to the coronavirus and save medical resources for those who need them most. Our decision is in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Iowa Department of Public Health, and Polk County health officials.

In lieu of the in-person event, Central Iowa leaders will be recording messages of inspiration and leadership advice for this year’s NCYL class. Students will receive access to view these special messages via email on September 30. Each student will also receive their medallion, t-shirt, and award certificate delivered to their school.


If you have questions, please contact the NCYL Des Moines Chapter Chairperson, Renee Hardman at or The Ray Center at Drake University event co-host, Hilary Ortmann at

August 21, 2020
August 20, 2020
August 18, 2020