The researcher investigated how the Southern California Youth Citizenship Seminar (YCS) impacted the personal development (as outlined by Cashman, 2008) of 142 former participants who responded to an open ended question in a survey administered by Kirnon (2008) and Musick (2008). This qualitative, within site case study utilized detailed analysis and coding of 142 open ended question responses submitted by former Southern California Youth Citizenship Seminar (YCS) participants. The findings of this study revealed that the transformational leadership style utilized by the counselors and guest speakers of the Southern California YCS positively impacted the personal development of 97% of former participants (138 out of 142 The remaining 3% of the respondents (4 out of 142) reported that their personal development was not impacted by participating in the YCS. The results of this study also revealed that 17 out of 142 respondents reported that their personal development was positively impacted in all seven areas of personal development as outlined by Cashman. The findings in this study revealed a positive relationship between the use of a transformational leadership style and increased personal development. In addition, as each individual's personal development increases so does his/her capacity for leadership. Youth programs must be comprehensive and utilize a transformational leadership style coupled with a research-based, data-driven curriculum that aims to increase each participant's personal development in all seven mastery areas described by Cashman to yield transformative outcomes for program participants. Educators in public schools, private schools and other youth serving organizations who aim to design youth programs that produce transformative results should strongly consider choosing transformational leaders to lead their youth programs. In addition, for maximum effectiveness, educators should design the youth development curriculum to include lessons and activities targeting each of the seven personal development practices for mastery of leadership from the inside out (Cashman). Future studies on personal development should utilize a questionnaire that has specific questions about each of the seven practices for mastery of leadership from the inside out (Cashman).

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Transformational leadership; Success

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Weber, Margaret J.