What is YLI?
The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) releases untapped potential in the next generation of community leaders. This untapped potential is released as students learn skills that propel them into their next steps of life and as they embrace their roles as shapers of a community where their dreams can be realized.High school students get out of the classroom and into real-life learning experiences throughout Greater Des Moines. Their teachers are local business and community experts. Their subjects are opportunities and challenges in our region. Their lessons teach self, group, professional, and community leadership skills to prepare for their futures. Their program graduation showcases students who are ready to shape a community and take action.
Who should apply?
Students with plenty of room to grow! Participants who gain the most from YLI are:
Application & Program Details
Straight from the Students
The leadership skills that I have gotten to witness and experience though YLI are greater than I ever could’ve imagined. I have been fortunate to be able to interact with amazing community leaders and learn from their experiences. My communication and interpersonal skills have gotten stronger from interacting with my mentors and learning from them. The skills I have gained and improved upon relate heavily to the five leadership practices, in which I have become better at identifying in my everyday life. I will be able to use these attributes as I continue to go after my personal and professional goals.
-Charlie, YLI Class of 2019
YLI has changed my mindset, my point of view, my insight on things, and
my options for the better. YLI gives the experiences of a lifetime and
leads to other opportunities for high schoolers that you may not get anywhere else in Des Moines. YLI has taught me that I have to speak up
and share my opinions on what I love.
-Riziki, YLI Class of 2019
In the last 5 years, I have met with many capable smart young people. In working with them, I have realized that even though most have good grades, they lack other life skills. Good grades alone can’t get them scholarships and ready for future jobs. They will need leadership, service and character to help them secure great opportunities and that is what YLI offers. YLI has helped my daughter enhance her other skills and I truly appreciate the opportunity that my child has been given through YLI.
-Nancy, Riziki's Mom
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