The n affiliation, n achievement, and n power of five clusters of ninth-grade students and the differences between the motivational profiles of ninth-grade troubled youth and recognized student leaders were investigated in this study. The participants were grouped through the use of a cluster analysis of variables related to at-risk and leadership characteristics. The Picture Story Exercise (Burruss, 1980), a derivative of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), was used to measure n power, n achievement, n affiliation, and activity inhibition. A discriminant analysis of the groups indicated that n power discriminates between troubled students and recognized student leaders, whereas n achievement and n affiliation are not statistically significant in the analysis of the maximal differences between these two groups. Implications for counselors are discussed.