Mission: YLI builds communities where young people and their adult allies come together to create positive social change. YLI designs and implements community-based programs that provide youth with leadership skills in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse prevention, philanthropy, and civic engagement. Building on these real-world program experiences, YLI creates curricula and training programs that foster social change efforts across the nation, all while promoting best practices in the field of youth development.
Programs: Since 1989, YLI has engaged young people, ages 12 to 25, and their adult allies in contributing to broader social change. At the community level, YLI's work contributes to youth engagement in a number of public systems leading to improved community and youth well being. YLI challenges young people to examine the messages and norms in their communities, and supports them as they develop action plans to address each individual concern. YLI also is the coordinator for middle school and high school prevention programs called Club Live and Friday Night Live. In addition, YLI program offerings include Youth Grants Board (youth-to-youth grant making designed to support youth-led action projects), prevention youth councils that work on substance abuse issues, health advisory councils that develop policy recommendations for health and nutrition, youth-led evaluation teams that help institutions research and track program effectiveness, and a youth commission that works with local government to ensure youth perspectives are heard in public policy decisions.