Young Gamechangers

Due to COVID-19, we will not be hosting a 2020 Young Gamechangers class. We have a fantastic Host Community identified and look forward to opening applications sometime next year.

If you would like to receive an email when Young Gamechangers applications open, please email [email protected] with the Subject Name: Add to YG app list. Include your name, email, and city.


Young Gamechangers is a leadership action program that brings together 50 of Georgia’s brightest minds under the age of 40, to help solve persistent challenges of one Georgia community. Each class works for six to eight months to generate big ideas and recommendations for persistent challenges in a Georgia community which they present to the community at the conclusion of the program.

See the Young Gamechangers Final Recommendations reports below.

View our previous final reports.

  • 2012 Final Recommendations to Americus/Sumter County. View PDF.
  • 2013/2014 Final Recommendations to Dublin/Laurens County. View PDF.
  • Spring 2016 Final Written Report to Douglasville/Douglas County. View PDF. 
    • Public Presentation that was given in Douglasville on Friday, June 10, 2016. View Video.
  • Fall 2016 Final Report to Augusta. View PDF.
  • Spring 2017 Final Report to LaGrange/Troop County. View PDF.
  • Fall 2017 Final Report to Milledgeville/Baldwin County. View PDF.
  • Fall 2018 Final Recommendations to Albany-Dougherty County. View Booklet
  • 2019 Final Recommendations to Monroe/Walton County. View Booklet

Who are Young Gamechangers?

Big-thinkers.  Innovators.  Creative-minded.  Civically-driven. We are looking for innovative thinkers from around Georgia and from multiple sectors, including business, law, public health, real estate, urban planning, the arts, non-profits, foundations and academia. Ambitious minds from any sector will be considered for the program.


How can I become a Young Gamechanger?

We are seeking energetic and collaborative big thinkers from every corner of the state between the ages 24 and 40. Ambitious minds from any professional sector will be considered. We are currently taking applications for the 2019 Young Gamechangers through November 9, 2018. Apply here.

What are the requirements for the program?

Each Young Gamechanger cohort focuses on a different focus community. Each program has four in-person meetings that are six days total (mandatory for completing the program) including a two-day opening retreat, a two-day midpoint meeting, an internal run through and final recommendations to the community. Additionally, the class will work together virtually over that time.

The mandatory dates of the 2019 Young Gamechangers program are:

  • January 31-February 1
  • March 21-22
  • June 7
  • August 9


Is there a cost to apply or participate?

The cost to be a member of the program is $400 per participant. Each participant is also responsible for their own travel to and from the focus community for all four meetings.

Where is next year’s program set?

Young Gamechangers is designed to create change in communities across Georgia. The inaugural class worked in Americus/Sumter County in 2012, the 2013/2014 class worked in Dublin/Laurens County, the Spring 2016 class worked in Douglasville/Douglas County,  the Fall 2016 worked in Augusta/Richmond County, the Spring 2017 is focused on LaGrange/Troup County, the Fall 2017 program was in Milledgeville/Baldwin County, and the 2018 class worked in Albany/Dougherty County.

The 2019 class will work in Monroe/Walton County from January through August.

The mandatory dates of the 2019 Young Gamechangers program are:

  • January 31-February 1
  • March 21-22
  • June 7
  • August 9

Email if you would like for your community to be considered for a future program.

What happens to Young Gamechangers’ proposals?

GeorgiaForward encourages community leaders to select the most promising proposals and work to bring them to life. Our goal is to see one or more of the recommendations implemented. However, it is up to the local community to prioritize and implement the recommendations. We are proud that at least one recommendation has come to fruition in almost all of the communities that we’ve worked in.

How can my community apply to host Young Gamechangers?

Young Gamechangers’ success is dependent on support from the host community. GeorgiaForward brings Young Gamechangers to communities that are eager to host this program, have businesses (companies, foundations, governments, individuals, etc) that will help support the program with both monetary and in-kind support and have overarching challenges that realistic solutions can be developed for in a eight-month period.

The host community is responsible for raising a minimum of $75,000 in sponsorship dollars for the program. Up to $25,000 can be in-kind donations in the areas of hotel rooms, meeting space, meals and transportation.

To apply, please email a letter of interest to [email protected] The letter can come from anyone in the community and must have at least five signatures of support from leaders in your community. The letter should outline community challenges that effect a broad range of citizens as well as address the potential support in your community for the program.

What makes Young Gamechangers special?

Young Gamechangers is more than a traditional leadership program focused on networking; it’s a leadership action program. The program is designed to make a tangible impact in select communities and bring young minds into the public sphere as respected idea-generators and problem-solvers. Young Gamechangers is about action.