Letter from Board Chair Brandon Brown

Our History

Dear Youth Leadership Institute Community:

I’m writing today to announce an important leadership transition at the Youth Leadership Institute. After four years of committed service as our CEO, Jon Marker is stepping down as the CEO of our organization as he looks to pursue the next stage of his career and life.

Jon’s leadership and guidance of the organization has been immense, and we are undoubtedly the better for it. Under his leadership and that of the incredible team he has built, YLI has grown into a more secure, better funded, and more impactful organization. We are proud of the amazing growth we’ve experienced, and how it allows us to continue to bring our life-changing programs to the youth we serve.

YLI’s dedicated Board of Directors has worked with Jon to ensure his transition goes smoothly and without disruption to the organization or our youth programs, and candidly, we’re extremely excited about what is coming next. Consistent with our belief that we should invest in our own communities, we are proud to announce that Patty Barahona will take over as Interim CEO of the Youth Leadership Institute, effectively immediately.

Patty most recently held the title of Chief People Officer at YLI, serving all seven of our offices and impacting nearly every one of our over 75 different programs. There are very few in our community who have not been impacted by Patty, who brings an uplifting, powerful, and inspiring voice to every room. And with so many years of history understanding YLI and the youth it serves, Patty brings some amazing perspectives to YLI as our newest leader, including a fantastic strategic programmatic vision, an unparalleled commitment to key investments in the staff we work alongside, critical insights in shaping our business development strategies, and a core focus on creating conditions that allow our youth participants to thrive. The Board has no doubt that Patty is the leader we can trust to guide our incredibly talented team of staff and youth, and we look forward to our partnership as we lead the  organization through its next phase of exciting growth and impact.

On behalf of all of us at the Youth Leadership Institute, thank you all for the support and encouragement you provide to our program and to our youth.  We look forward to working alongside all of you as we continue our mission of empowering youth to use their voices to create meaningful change.