The Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s (NMEF) Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) began in 2013 as a space for youth leaders attending schools where NMEF invested in student-centered learning initiatives to actively engage in reform efforts being undertaken in their schools.
For five years, NMEF has continued to support the convening and grown it to include youth organizing groups that work to make changes at the school and community level. NMEF’s support ensures that their grantee schools, and youth organizations are able to send young people to YLI to build relationships, learn from each other, and develop action plans for local work.
August 7 – 9, 2017
Executive Education Circle
Babson Park, MA 02457
Registrations for the 2017 Institute is closed
Lodging and Meeting Space
Thank you to Babson College Executive Conference Center, Wellesley MA, for an amazing conference space! Until next time…
- Babson is similar to a hotel and provides linens, toiletries, etc. Guests need to only bring their own personal items.
- Students will be in doubles and matched with someone from their school/youth group
- Adults will be in singles
- All meals are included while at Babson
- Attendance is free
For multilingual information on “What to Expect”, download our YLI flyers in English, Spanish, Somali, Nepali, and Arabic.
- Organizations should decide who will represent their community at YLI. Each organization may bring six students and two adults.
- Organizations are invited to develop posters that tell their story. Posters should be brought to the YLI and will be shared with other participants. More information will be send via email.
- YLI is a safe space for all participants and we ask that everyone come prepared to build a positive, welcoming learning community. We all have the responsibility to look out for each other’s safety. To ensure a safe and healthy environment, it is important that all participants support the following guidelines. Please share these guidelines with all participants
- Students need to be in their respective rooms by 11:00 pm and lights out by midnight.
- Students need to stay with their YLI Teams while workshops are taking place. They need to notify their YLI Facilitator and home team adult ally if they need to leave the workshops.
- Alcohol and drug use are not allowed. Students will be asked to leave the YLI if they do not comply. Each organization is responsible for coordinating transportation home for their students.
- Bullying will not be tolerated and students will be asked to leave the YLI if their behavior is causing a sense of threat to another person.
- Each group should have parents sign off on their own permission slip and should have access to the signed documents while at YLI.
- Unless prearranged and traveling with their group, students may not leave the YLI premises.
- Issues arising at YLI should be brought to the attention of Delia Arellano-Weddleton (firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-239-4883) and the YLI Coordinator, Adeola Oredola (email@example.com, 401.339.0673).
- The Youth Planning Teams developed the following learning norms. They will be reviewed at YLI and likely more will be added at the YLI.
- Don’t yuck my yum
- One diva, one mic
- Make sure to take care of yourself (self-care)
- Be open to new ideas
- Be the change you wish to see (own your learning)
- Challenge the idea, not the person
- Ask respectful questions if confused
- Staying engaged, and being where you’re supposed to be
- Let an adult know where you are
- Lights out at midnight
Do students need to bring spending money?
- The YLI is free and all food is covered. Families can decide if they want to send their student with some extra cash.
My child has never been away from home, what if they get homesick?
- Students will have access to phones and can call home if desired.
How will students get to the conference?
- Their school or youth organization will make those arrangements.
Who is at the YLI?
- Students – about 250 students will attend the YLI. The youth represent all six New England states.
- Adult Allies – each organization is asked to bring two adults to support the youth while at the YLI.
- Nellie Mae Education Foundation, funds the YLI and contracts with various organizations to provide support to make the YLI a success.
- Annenberg Institute for School Reform, is responsible for the design and implementation of the YLI. They work closely with the Youth Planning Team and the YLI Facilitators.
- YLI Coordinator; Ms. Adeola Oredola, is responsible for ensuring that the YLI runs smoothly. She helps design and oversee the event.
Thomas Albright is a doctoral student in education who focuses on issues of social justice. Thomas is originally Ohio but has lived and worked in Alabama, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Prior to joining his PhD program Thomas taught high school for three years.
Trevor Auldridge hails from Truckee, CA, and lives in San José, CA. Over the past five years, he has worked with students in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, and he currently serves as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in the beautiful community of East San José. At home and at work, Trevor enjoys making educational/sociological theories, music, relationships, and laughter.
Ghizzy Benzerdjeb is from Revere, MA and will be entering her sophomore year of college. She currently works as a Site Director for an SAT/College Readiness program in Revere High School. Ghizzy plans on becoming an academic advisor for first generation and low income college students.
Rainbow Chen is a proud and recent graduate of Winooski High School, located in the tiny 1.1 square mile city Winooski, Vermont. Through her diverse school, she had many opportunities to explore student leadership in education by being a member of her school board, the Vermont State Board of Education, and most relevantly, YLI. After four years of being a Youth Planning Team member, she is excited to return as a facilitator for her fifth year. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and double bass. In the fall, she plans on studying Education Policy at Brown University.
Heather Foran lives in Portland, Maine and is a co-founder and program director of the Field Academy, a traveling high school program that focuses on learning about social and environmental justice issues around the US. She loves any excuse to be outside, and balances that with a healthy appreciation for science fiction and medical thrillers.
Emma Galvin spent the first 14 years of her life in Salt Lake City, UT. Her family’s cross-country move to Burlington, VT corresponded unfortunately with a period of peak angst, but over many years she came to appreciate her new home. She is slowly working her way through her undergraduate degree at Brown University but she keeps getting distracted by other adventures. Emma studies Ethnic Studies and Education and has ambitions of being a middle school social studies teacher. She likes all sorts of stuff! Mostly goats, trains, hiking, fun and talking about gender.
Matt Garza is originally from South Texas and has lived in Providence, RI for 7 years. As a practicing performance artist and professional dancer, he runs the Dance Program at a local Performing Arts High School and also teaches in the Medium Security Men’s Prison. In his free time, Garza loves practicing yoga, eating spaghetti, wandering in nature, listening to new music, and dance walking around town.
Shawn James-Gómez recently starting a new position at Nowell Leadership Academy as the IT and Data Manager. He graduated from Rutgers University in 2010 with a Bachelors in Africana Studies and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. He also recently got appointed to the Central Falls Juvenile Hearing Board in April. He loves learning new things and especially loves to play sports such as rugby, volleyball, softball and basketball. He is passionate about serving his community and helping others.
Ennis Horozovic graduated from Winooski High School in Winooski, Vermont, where he spent much of his high school experience working on advancing student voice. Most notably, he helped lead the new early dismissal project to use one day a month to help build community, culture, and college/career readiness in Winooski High School. In the fall, he will begin my first year at Champlain College, majoring in Professional Writing.
Olugbenga Joseph is from Providence, RI and received his Bachelors of Arts in Education from Brown University. He recently completed a year of teaching in Connecticut, and is excited to continue his career as an educator! Outside of the classroom, he can be found singing, salsa dancing, and/or sleeping.
Sophie Kupetz grew up in Los Angeles, CA and currently lives in Providence, RI. She just finished her sophomore year at Brown University where she studies history. This summer, Sophie is teaching English to 8th graders at Breakthrough Providence. She enjoys learning, joking, working towards positive social change with youth. She also loves the ocean, so when she is not at Breakthrough, she is probably at the beach!
Asher Lehrer-Small will always call the hills of Jericho, Vermont home. Over the last couple years, however, he has ventured far and wide teaching English in Haiti, working and skiing in Utah, hiking in Portugal, and eventually studying Education and Public Policy at Brown University in Providence, RI. In between these adventures, Asher spends most of his time on the frisbee field running barefoot and chasing down discs.
Kashmeel McKoena is a novelist and educator from Toronto, Canada. Recently graduated from Brown University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, he will be teaching English in Central Falls, RI at Nowell Leadership Academy–a public charter school for parenting and pregnant teenagers. His first novel of young adult science fiction, MIND VILLAIN, was published in 2016.
Jacey is a facilitator/educator, movement artist, and poet living and building community in the Boston area. They have been practicing popular education in the public schools, exploring the intersections of arts, sports, and critical theory. Jacey is currently studying/practicing somatic movement and integrated dance in service of deepening and strengthening collective visions of justice and living an embodied social justice. Jacey graduated from Pitzer College with a self-designed major in Rhetoric, Consciousness, and Power.
Kisa Takesue grew up in Honolulu, Hawai’i and Amherst, Massachusetts. She now calls Cranston, RI home but is still working on her Rhode Island accent! Kisa is the Director of the Leadership Institute, a Pre-College program at Brown University that promotes socially responsible leadership in youth. She is looking forward to working with amazing students who will teach her so much, including the latest lingo and dance moves.
Gregory Stewart is from Boston, MA and lives in Providence, RI. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in teaching secondary history/social studies at Brown University. He also attended Brown as an undergraduate, during which time he worked within a variety of educational organizations including Breakthrough Providence and the Center for Talented Youth. He just got back from visiting family in Trinidad & Tobago. Gregory is looking forward to teaching Brown summer high school and catching up on all his favorite shows this summer.
Sam is new to Providence, RI having moved from Minneapolis, MN to attend Brown’s Masters of Arts in Teaching program in Social Studies. She is an alum of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she majored in French Studies, Global Studies and African American & African Studies. She spent the past 2 years working on the Minneapolis Public Schools’ Ethnic Studies Initiative, implementing 5 different ethnic studies courses at the high school level. Fluent in French, she travels as much as she possibly can! She is a lifelong fan of all things noodles, dancing, music and cats.
Maxine Wright is from Boston, MA and lives in Providence, RI. She is a 2015 Teach for America alumna, and will be going into her third year of teaching in the fall. Her alter ego is a writer with too many feelings, and she has written and performed slam poetry for 5 years.