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The Youth Leadership Excellence Awards (YLEA) is one of the flagship projects of the Junior Chamber nternational!"hilippines# ts objecti$e is to gi$e due recognition to outstanding public and pri$ate elementar% and high school students and to inspire them towards greater achie$ements in life# The YLEA had its modest beginnings wa% bac& in '()*# Then "hilippine Ja%cees +ational "resident ,enato -,ene. /# /atoon0 a staunch supporter of %outh de$elopment projects and whose +12 Theme0 -Ja%cees for a /etter Tomorrow0. encapsulated his administration3s thrust towards the %outh0 concei$ed of the idea of honoring academicall% exceptional students all o$er the countr% as a wa% of moti$ating them to excel further# The +ational "resident personall% coined the term0 -"residential Leadership Excellence Award. ("LEA) for this landmar& underta&ing0 as this was his -pet. project# n its pilot run0 the project targeted the top ten graduating elementar% students from each of the '0444 public and pri$ate schools in the countr%# n just a short span of four months0 from Januar% to April '()*0 the entire +ational 1rgani5ation0 with the +ational "resident personall% o$erseeing this pilot project0 $igorousl% promoted the implementation to all participating Ja%cee chapters0 numbering around 674 at that time# About '40444 outstanding graduating elementar% students were gi$en medals and certificates all o$er the countr%0 courtes% of the 2inistr% of Education and Culture0 under 2inister Jaime C# La%a# This project created such a great impact0 that school officials from the $arious parts of the countr% encouraged them to continue this worthwhile underta&ing# This pioneering acti$it% was recogni5ed b% no less than Junior Chamber nternational when it won the -2ost 1utstanding Youth 8e$elopment "roject. Award during the 7*th JC Asia!"acific Conference in 9aohsiung0 Taiwan in '()*0 the onl% +12 Award won b% the "hilippine Ja%cees that %ear# Corollar% to the "LEA0 the +ational Leadership also launched the -Citi5ens Arm% Training Leadership Excellence Award. (CATLEA) that same %ear0 under the chairmanship of +ational Commissioner ,omeo 2ascardo# This project was supported b% the A:" Chief of ;taff <eneral :abian C# =er0 and endorsed b% the 2inistr% of Education and Culture# About >44 graduates were the recipients of this award0 all high school graduates for leadership and academic excellence0 and later organi5ed into one club0 the officers of whom meet at least once a month in the JC" ?ead@uarters# Ahile the CATLEA was dissol$ed in '((4 due to the public3s animosit% towards Citi5en3s Arm% Training program0 the "LEA project0 howe$er continued and prospered# Bnder +ational "resident /enjamin ;# Lim0 the project was renamed -"residential Youth Leadership Excellence Award. ("YLEA)# Bnder his term0 the "YLEA expanded its scope to include elementar% and high school graduating students# The program changed to its present name0 -Youth Leadership Excellence Award. in '((70 under the term of +ational "resident ,oderic& L# +go#