One of the most difficult tasks involved in operating a program such as C5 is selecting the youth who will participate — not because there are so few young people who would benefit from it, but because there are so many. Our selection process is targeted and intensive, designed to select a diverse group of young people who will benefit from our intensive and ongoing leadership development program. Through our nominating partners in each city — middle schools and youth-serving organizations — we receive applications from approximately 200 high-potential seventh grade students who demonstrate a desire to succeed, maintain a B (+ or -) average and possess some leadership skills. They have also been identified as having multiple risk factors in their lives that make success more difficult — poverty, single-parent or no-parent home, prevalence of drugs and/or gangs in their neighborhoods, etc. Through a rigorous application and interview process, each site selects and enrolls 72 rising eighth graders each year.