Program days are the heart of the TLT experience.

During the nine months of the school year, TLT students get an inside look at Sonoma County and its issues through this community-based program that emphasizes hands-on learning, critical thinking, and communication. They and their new friends meet decision-makers, solve problems and discover how Sonoma County works.

Program days are designed to give students a local perspective and opportunities to meet local leaders. Therefore, TLT students are grouped into four classes by region; one in north county, two in Santa Rosa, and one in south county.

For an “audio” overview of our program – including what participants actually DO and what they GET out of TLT – explore this radio interview with former TLT Program Director, Chris Pack, who spoke with Nate Campbell, host of “Sonoma County’s Talking” which aired on KZST and affiliated stations.


Parents and students learn about the TLT program, details of each program day, goals and expectations, and hear the experiences of TLT graduates. Students meet each other and participate in ice-breaker type activities. This is a required meeting for both parents and students and is held in August at the start of the TLT leadership program year.


Students get to know each other and build their class community through skill development that includes goal identification, problem solving and team building. The day includes activities practicing leadership skills, creating relationships, and learning the art of communication through teamwork!

Arts & Media Day

Students are introduced to various types of art and media in the community, and how they influence people’s lives. This program day also acquaints the students with the essentials of effective communication and provides a chance to exercise those skills!

Agriculture Day

In partnership with the Sonoma County Farm Bureau and other local leaders in agriculture, this is one of the most memorable program days of the year! Visits to vineyards, dairies and farms help participants become acquainted with the diversity of the agricultural enterprises in Sonoma County, gaining an understanding of the significance of this sector of our economy and communities, and the challenges we face sustaining it.

Criminal Justice Day

Participants gain an understanding of the full spectrum of the criminal justice system, from prevention and intervention, to apprehension and incarceration to rehabilitation and treatment. They meet and talk with representatives of various law enforcement and community-based organizations to learn about careers and training required, as well as innovative approaches like restorative justice.

Community Service

Students choose a non-profit service organization and complete 8 hours of community service before the end of December.  This gives students another perspective on the organizations that are meeting human needs in our communities and how to become more directly involved.

Health & Human Services Day

Students explore issues, challenges and services in health care, and how to manage our own health. This program day also provides meaningful information and experiences about public and private human service providers and recipients, and examines human service issues and resources.

Government & Planning Day

Students learn about the impact of government on their lives, what services government provides, and who pays for them. During this program day, students meet local elected officials and government staff members, gain an understanding of the decision-making process, and discover how city planning and government coincide.

Environment & Natural Resources Day

Students explore the interface between society and the natural resources that sustain it – water, air, energy, land and its resources – including current issues, research, and careers in this sector, as well as impacts on growth, development and planning.

Entrepreneurship & Technology Day

With a focus on innovation, this day provides students with a better understanding of what it takes to start their own business or even invent their own product. Participants also learn about different aspects of the the tech industry in Sonoma County.


An evening celebration of the TLT experience for students and their families.