Our Key Wins and History Timeline

Birth of the Youth Leadership Institute in Marin County.

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Marin County Youth Commission (MCYC) becomes a program of YLI.

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YLI opens its San Francisco Office Headquarters, earns the Congressional Award for Leadership, and embarks on research, program evaluation, training, and technical assistance.

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YLI becomes a lead trainer for Friday Night Live.

Based on the success of its new model for FNL programs in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo, YLI is contracted by California Friday Night Live Partnership—the umbrella group that supports over 500 Friday Night Live, Club Live, and FNL Kids chapters statewide and reaches over 135,000 young people a year—to serve as lead trainer, technical assistance and evaluation provider for the FNL system.
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YLI opens an office in San Mateo County. The Center for Training, Research & Evaluation opens.

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San Francisco YLI leads the Children’s Amendment Property Tax re-authorization

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YLI leads the first national assessment of youth philanthropy.

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YLIs Prevention Youth Council is dubbed an Exemplary Program by the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Marin Youth Health Advisory Council is named the top prevention coalition in the nation.

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The Central Valley office opens. YLI becomes the exclusive national trainer for Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol.

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Between 1996 to 2006, YLI reaches over one million dollars granted out by their philantrophy model. This model is referred to as a go-to source by the Council on Foundations, The Michigan Council on Foundations, and the Kellogg Initiative.

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The Urban Fresno Leading Youth (UFLY) Program is born. The youth film “After Too Many” earns six Addy Awards and two Webby Award nominations.

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SF Community Action Live works with Supervisor Sophie Maxwell to create and successfully advocate for a Deemed Approved Ordinance, which better regulates the sale of alcohol in retail settings.

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TURF is created. YLI youth in Novato and San Rafael school districts develop 46 specific District wellness recommendations.

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Pacifica implements strict new tobacco retail licensing standards. YLIs youth-led films Betting on Our Future, Ripples of Change, and Ya Basta are released in Fresno.

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The San Mateo Y-Impact Youth Grants Board awards $10,000 in mini-grants. Program SALUD brings farm stands to rural communities in Kerman & Selma. The Center for Training, Research, & Evaluation opens.

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YLI establishes a Parent Advisory Council for the San Francisco Unified School District. Between 2000 and 2009, youth leaders in YLI programs have successfully advocated for the passage of more than 20 ordinances. In 2009 and 2011, the Addressing the Achievement Gap Through Youth Led Action Research Report is released.

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The San Francisco Alcohol Fee Ordinance passes 7-3 with YLI mobilization, but is vetoed by Mayor Newsom. YLI successfully creates momentum and passage of the Pacifica Social Host Ordinance and the San Rafael Alcohol Sponsorship and Service Guidelines for City Events. Building a Master Foundation for Food (Marin Youth Advisory Group) administers a REAL Food Assessment.

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The Novato Food Truck Ordinance passes. Tamalpais Union High School District limits alcohol sponsorship and school events. Marin passes the Single Use Plastic Bag Ban and SMC passes the Social Host Ordinance in Pacifica. September 15 is named “Youth Leadership Institute Day” in San Francisco.

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The Fresno Students United for Climate of Safety & Support program and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention program begin. YLI, a member of the Prevention Partnership, launches the Healthy Corner Stores Makeover.

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YO!Mateo prompts California State Assemblymember Jerry Hill to introduce AB 1310 into the state legislature. The YLI facilitated MCYC partners with County Supervisor Charles Glashan to pass a county ordinance banning single-use plastic bags and to place a fee on paper bags.

Thank you for your ongoing support, Assemblymember Jerry Hill!
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The Fresno Unified School District finally incorporates SUCCESS Restorative Justice Recommendations. The California Preventing Underage Tobacco Sales Assembly Bill 1310 passes. The YLI undertakes the Fresno Boys & Men of Color initiative.

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Maureen Sedonaen, Founding CEO, steps down.

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HOPE SF Public housing initiative begins. San Mateo YLI passes TRACE ordinance in Redwood City. The Fresno Youth Leadership Advisory Board and San Francisco-based B.L.I.N.G. begin.

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SMC YLI works in partnership with Senator Jerry Hill to pass Tobacco Retail License (TRL).

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PhotoVoice research project highlighting environmental inequities, including access to healthy and affordable food in low-income communities, is compiled. PhotoVoice, a traveling art exhibit, continues to be on display throughout Marin County.

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More than 30 young people and adults from San Mateo County, SF, and Fresno came together for the first annual school for financial justice in partnership with Mission SF Financial Center.

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YLI earns the San Francisco Award in Youth Organization; San Mateo YLI is successful in passing an Anti Payday Lending Ordinance in Daly City and S. SF, as well as a social host alcohol ordinance in Daly City; The Fresno Youth Advisory Leadership League forms (YALL); YLI and YUCA join to host a forum on Common Core Standards.

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The Statewide Preventing Underage Tobacco Sales, Assembly Bill 1310, passes.

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Jonathan Marker joins YLI as CEO.

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YLI youth successfully pass the SF Tobacco Permit Density Ordinance; San Mateo County passes resolutions in Daly City and South San Francisco supporting a federal movement to restrict payday-lending landscape through Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; San Mateo County passes smoke free housing ordinance in multi-unit housing in the City of San Mateo.

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The Youth Leadership Institute, Boys and Men of Color Campaign, Fresno, Fresno Barrios Unidos, and PolicyLink partner to add a Youth Advisory Council to the Fresno Police Board.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, alongside Fresno Boys and Men of Color and Fresno Building Healthy Communities, announces the formation of a Youth Advisory Council to represent youth voice within the Fresno Police Department.
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YLI Youth Leaders provide testimony for Tobacco 21 legislation that Mayor Ed Lee signed.

On March 14, 2016, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signs the Tobacco 21 legislation. YLI youth leaders pr...
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YLI 25 Celebrates 102 Policy Wins and 86,000 Youth Served

On September 22, 2016, the YLI 25 gala celebrated 25 years of youth leading and creating social chan...
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In 1991 the Youth Leadership Institute opened its doors in Marin County. Early projects included expanding the Marin Friday Night Live program, reinvigorating the Marin County Youth Commission, and developing the commission’s youth philanthropy programs. In the early 1990s the Youth Leadership Institute continued to develop its community-based program in Marin and began new programs in San Francisco and California’s Central Valley.

In 1992 the Youth Leadership Institute was given the Congressional Award for Leadership. That same year the Youth Leadership Institute relocated headquarters to San Francisco and expanded its scope of work to include research, program evaluation, training, and technical assistance. The Institute’s leadership recognized one of the organization’s greatest strengths was its ability to build the capacity of others in the youth engagement sphere by creating program models, offering trainings on how to implements those models, and assessing effectiveness of youth programs.

In the late 1990s the Youth Leadership Institute continued to grow into two distinct, yet interrelated parts. The Institute expanded its community-based programs, moving into San Mateo in 1998, and simultaneously developed its social enterprise arm, Training and Consulting Services.

Over the last ten years, The Institute’s community based programs have engaged young people in increasing healthy food access, decreasing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, and creating opportunities for youth civic engagement, advocacy, and philanthropy. Between the year 2000 and 20015 youth leaders in the Youth Leadership Institute programs collectively organized and successfully advocated for the passage of more than 30 ordinances to reduce social and retail access to tobacco and alcohol, increase parent accountability, restrict payday lending, and increase highway and pedestrian safety.

YLI’s Training and Consulting Services has increased the number of trainings offered and currently facilitates trainings both nationally and internationally. Topics include Building Youth Adult Partnerships, Environmental Prevention, Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol, Communities of practice for educators building youth voice in schools, etc.

In its third decade, YLI continues leading the way in the field of youth engagement by training young leaders to create positive change and by teaching communities to invest in their youth.

For more information about the success of our work, visit the Impact page.