The Tulare County Step Up #LEAD (Leading, Educating, Advocating, and Dedication) program engages high school juniors and seniors to be leaders and mentors, providing an alternative to the cycle of the welfare and foster care system.  Participants learn life skills, college and career planning, and service learning for the benefit of their communities, and ultimately themselves.

Students who successfully complete the program with a participation rate of 80% will be offered the opportunity to work at a job based upon their future career interest.  In addition, graduating seniors who apply for the #LEAD scholarship and are selected will receive funds for the college or vocation education program of their choice.

Partners include the County's Board of Supervisors, CSET, the local Health and Human Services department, College of the Sequoias, Porterville Community College, the Tulare County Youth Commission, Porterville Unified School District, Tulare Joint Union High School District, Tulare County Office of Education, and Visalia Unified School District and all participant’s school districts.


If interested in participating in our 2023-2024 #LEAD Program speak to a CSET #LEAD representative. 

Application Due Date: October 5, 2023

Applicants will be invited to attend an informal interview process including all participants and program partners.  If selected, interviews will be conducted from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

Visalia: Monday, October 15                                Tulare: Tuesday, October 16

Porterville: Wednesday, October 17                    Dinuba: Thursday, October 18


Below are some photos of the different cohorts participating in various events!

#LEAD Visalia Cohort

#LEAD Visalia Cohort

Visalia team attends a team building camp held at Fresno State

#LEAD Community Project

Community Involvement 

Our 2016-17 cohorts spent much of their time planning a community project for the kids of Tulare County


#LEAD_Guest Speaker

#LEAD_Guest Speaker

Group picture of the Visalia cohort after an amazing presentation given by Mary Alice. 

#LEAD Fresno State Trip

#LEAD Fresno State Trip

The Tulare Cohort at Fresno State after completing their day of team building exercises. 

#LEAD_Fresno State

#LEAD_Team Building

Team building exercise by the Visalia cohort where they must work together to get everyone to "walk the plank" and make it to the other side.

#LEAD_Community Involvement 

#LEAD_Community Involvement

Each cohort plans and coordinates their own community service project. Here you find one of the Visalia members gathered by kids after teaching them core values.