programs_headerThe Youth Leadership Institute’s community-based programs foster meaningful partnerships between youth and adults to create positive social change.

Across each of our offices and programs, YLI hold to the same approaches related to youth development:

  • Meet youth where they are: Youth should be engaged in their communities locally.
  • Authentic partnership between adult allies and mentors: Youth-Adult Partnerships are a process of engaging youth and adults to work together in a positive, mutually respectful environment with the recognition that each group contributes unique strengths to the relationship.
  • Let youth lead: Youth Action Research is a data-driven process that provides youth with opportunities to frame issues and questions, gather information, develop recommendations for change, and take action.
  • Find the root of the inequities in a community: Environmental Prevention is a community-based strategy that considers the complexity of factors in an individual’s environment that impact personal choices. EP addresses the four environmental factors that impact personal choice: social norms, media messages, laws and policies, and access.


Leadership Development – Leadership development is part of the youth development process and supports the young person in developing the ability to analyze his or her own strengths and weaknesses, set personal and vocational goals, have the self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and abilities to carry them out, and the ability to guide or direct others on a course of action.

Health Equity – Youth and adults addressing inequity through data driven recommendations and policy solutions impacting schools, communities, and the city.

Community Organizing – Youth and adults addressing inequity through changing the social norms in their communities and building coalitions.

Youth Philanthropy – Youth and adults catalyzing giving to support youth development and impact community change.