The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is a cohort model of learning. Young people apply and are selected to be in a learning cohort that meets consistently over a period of time. In YLI, learning happens through active engagement, listening and doing, reflection, a mixture of small and large group activities, storytelling and peer mentoring. The structure of YLI is youth centered. In addition to youth participants determining the focus of cultural exploration sessions and community issues to be addressed, a team of youth mentors are selected to return and be peer leaders in the program. The roles of adults are to support, encourage, share knowledge and power, and create access and opportunity. Youth and adults work together as colleagues and learn from one another.
Program Length, Format and Key Dates
8 months (November 6, 2019 – May 21, 2020)
- Youth/Parent Orientation: Monday, October 28, 2019 or Wednesday, October 30, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
- Weekly After-School Sessions: Every Wednesday 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Wilder Center starting November 6, 2019.
- Weekend Youth Leadership Retreat: Saturday, November 9, 2019 - Sunday, November 10, 2019 at Camp Voyageur
- Graduation: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Program Activities That Help Youth Build Leadership Skills