Over the past several years, a number of youth leadership and youth development organizations have expressed a need for the community to come together to share best practices, to discuss the needs, gaps, and challenges facing this field, and to discover ways to work together. We believed this convening of a community of experts to be a necessary step in discovering, improving, and innovating ways to advance and respond to the demands in this eld; all with the intention of reaching more youth and increasing the quality of programs offered.

In February 2010, representatives from City Year, Search Institute, Y-USA, Kiwanis International, and the Center for Creative Leadership assembled in Minneapolis to explore the possibility of convening a youth leadership summit to discuss and assess the eld of youth leadership development and to create a vision for bringing together others with a shared commitment. When this group met, all five organizations expressed a need to…

  • understand/evaluate what the community is doing and build a stronger system,
  • begin building a shared knowledge base that captures best practices,
  • create a community of practice, a connected eld to serve more youth and improve programs,
  • help young people everywhere have access to the best youth leadership experiences regardless of organization or costs, and
  • inspire, energize and unleash the potential of this eld and of young people.
Published: May 2011
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