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Youth Leadership Institute

YLI Convening

A convening of youth organizers, adult allies and educators whose shared vision of education equity.  YLI is focused on supporting youth and adult allies to develop deeper relations and learn to build power through youth-adult partnership. 

What is the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI)?

The Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) is an annual convening presented by the New England Youth Organizing Network (NEYON) that brings together youth, adult allies & educators who are fighting for equitable public education throughout New England communities. 

With the generous support of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, YLI attendees come together annually to build understanding and support for youth organizing for education justice, develop relationships, share learning, and plan for youth organizing work in the upcoming school year.

YLI 2023 Opportunities

The Youth Leadership Institute is planned by adult allies and youth leaders every year. Currently we are hiring for Facilitator Fellows to support this years Youth Planning Team members.  We’ve also released this year’s CALL FOR PROPOSALS for current NEYON groups to present at this year’s conference. Please visit the links for information on each of these opportunities!

When is YLI?

August 7-9th, 2023 at the Babson Executive Conference Center

What happens at YLI?

The Youth Leadership Institute is a space designed and implemented by the Youth Planning team in collaboration with the Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE). The YLI planning team works to create a space that inspires, celebrates and reinforces the youth organizing that is happening throughout New England communities.

Our CYCLE Youth Team and our Youth Planning Team continue to work to host a space that inspires, celebrates, and reinforces our youth organizing community. Last year's theme was “Diversifying our Lenses.” We want to truly envision the world in different ways. Just how a camera is able to capture different moments, so should our activism and perspectives in history. That leaves us with one question, how can we diversify our lenses?

Stay tuned for more updates on YLI 2023! But in the meantime save the date for August 7th-9th, 2023 at the Babson Executive Conference Center!

When is YLI being held?

YLI 2023 is being held at the Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, MA on Monday August 7th through Wednesday, August 9th.

Overnight stay for the conference will be at the Sheraton Boston Needham Hotel this year. Shuttles will be provided for groups that indicate a need for it on registration between the hotel and the conference center. 2 Youth from their organization will be assigned to a room together. Adult Allies will have individual rooms.

Who plans and implements the Youth Leadership Institute?

YLI is planned by a group of high school aged youth leaders who represent different organizations across NEYON and were selected to be part of the Youth Planning Team. The Youth Planning Team in collaboration with the CYCLE Youth Leadership team create the content and implement the conference together. The CYCLE Youth Leadership team also coordinates the New England Youth Organizing Network (NEYON).

Who will be able to attend YLI 2023?

Organizations that are a part of the New England Youth Organizing Network (NEYON).  When there are extra spots available for YLI the CYCLE team will invite outside organizations or school districts to attend. 

How many people from each organization can attend YLI 2023?

2 adult allies and 6 youth will be allowed to attend per NEYON organization.  For groups that aren’t a part of NEYON and are invited to attend, invitation numbers will be based on available spots for the conference. 

* Adult allies are usually defined as youth workers and/or staff that work with youth participants at your organizations. As an adult ally you are required to stay overnight and be responsible for the safety of the youth that attend the conference from your organization. 
*The 6 youth number does not include if your organization has a Youth Planning Team member or a NEYON Advisory Board Council member . It would be in addition to those youth since they are considered staff of the conference.

What are some of the COVID-19 Protocols?

We are requiring that all of the attendees of YLI 2022 be fully vaccinated and must provide proof at registration. To keep our NEYON & YLI community safe we will be providing daily rapid tests and require masking in all areas of programming in the conference outside of meal times. Please visit our YLI site for all of the precautions we are taking for YLI.

How much is it to attend YLI?

Due to the generous support of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, organizations from the NEYON network and invited youth organizations attend the conference for at no cost including all meals and overnight accommodations.  Transportation to and from the conference will be not be covered.

Will I be able to know who the presenters are for each session?

We’ll be releasing an agenda sometime in July 2023 with details around presenters via the Whova app.

Where can I access the event’s full agenda?

All YLI 2023 content will be shared via the Whova app including registration for the conference, full agenda, name of presenters and workshop detaIls.

How does online registration work?

Each individual participant must register on their own. 6 youth and 2 adults per organization are invited to the conference. Youth that are attending the conference are selected by each individual organization. Registration will launch in June 2023 and will close July 10th, 2023.

Do I have access to all of the sessions?

In a word, yes! You will be given the opportunity to select which sessions you’d like to attend. It is up to you to decide which sessions interest you in a given time block and to attend those sessions as desired.

What platforms will YLI be using this year?

YLI will be using Whova & The NEYON Website for a majority of our communications for the conference in addition to emails. Please make sure to download the Whova app on your mobile device to make sure you can access all of the conference content.

How can I access interpretation?

We will be asking for interpretation and other accommodation needs at the time of registration. This year YLI will be providing Spanish/English interpretation for attendees.

Will YLI capture videos and pictures?

We will be capturing videos and pictures at YLI 2023. We will require that all participants both youth and adults, sign a photo release form. If you are under the age of 18 you will need to have a parent sign on your behalf. You will also be able to post your own pictures and videos via the Whova app!


If you have questions about YLI registration or any logistics please contact Catalina Perez at or Vianna Mercedes at

Youth Planning Team 2023

Michellet Rojas-Brand
YLI Communications Fellow
Michellet Rojas-Brand (they/he/she), preferably MJ, is a youth organizer for Providence Student Union in Education Reform in Providence, Rhode Island. Completing their alumni year at PSU, MJ is currently working on youth programs and engagement opportunities. They’re also an advocate for "Counselors Not Cops" and Ethnic Studies in Providence. As a Communication Fellow, MJ will be focusing on being a social media coordinator and content creator. MJ enjoys exploring and hanging out with her friends. They also enjoy music, eating, and trying new things.
Oluwademilade Favor Egunjobi
Youth Planning Team Member
Oluwademilade Favor Egunjobi (She/Her/Hers) is the Leadership Team Co-Director at Providence Student Union in Providence, RI. She is passionate about civic engagement and is currently working with ONE Neighborhood Builders on the Nine Neighborhood Fund. She is very interested in politics, government, and making sure that everyone has a voice in their community and understands that they have the ability to create change. She believes that our society cannot become better without the use of people power to make social progress. Oluwademilade loves reading, watching movies, and discussing random topics with friends. For her time on YPT she is most excited to plan the overall conference as well as collaborate with her peers to watch YLI overall come together in August.
Sadaqat Khan
Youth Planning Team Member
Sadaqat Khan (He/Him/His) is a youth leader at the Youth Civics Union of the LEI in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is working on a youth project based on federal funding with his other youth allies. Sadaqat will be helping make a theme and be planning for the youth summit with his co-allies in the YPT. Outside of youth works Sadaqat likes to play basketball and hang out with his friends. This is Sadaqat's second year serving on the Youth Planning Team.
Jeremiah Olubowale
Youth Planning Team Member
Jeremiah Olubowale (He/him/his) is originally from Rhode Island, but is currently a sophomore at Choate, a boarding school in Connecticut. He is a youth leader at Youth In Action, an organization in Providence that helps youth to create tangible change in their communities. Through organization, I’ve been able to help to increase tree equity in Providence alongside other projects. I’m super excited to be a part of the YPT this year and I want to make sure that vibes are high and that everyone’s having fun! Aside from all of that, some of the things I like to do for fun are play the piano, watch Netflix (Bojack Horseman, Breaking Bad, Too Hot to Handle, you name it!) and play chess.
Nhi Nguyen
Nhi Nguyen (she/her/hers) is an ARISE youth leader from New Hampshire. ARISE has helped Nhi develop into a leader that advocates for issues that are important to her such as the ethnic studies campaign. As a immigrant, she realizes the importance of having a diverse curriculum and how the lack of it harms the Dover Community. Nhi hopes to take what she’s learning from ARISE and apply that to her work in changing the conditions of Dover community as part of leadership at Project Dream. Nhi is looking forward to making connections with people throughout the region as part of the Youth Planning Team. Outside of her youth organizations, she also likes to read, watch K-dramas and run.
Philina Bueh
Philina Bueh (They/them/theirs) is a youth leader at Providence Student Union. Philina lives and was born and raised in Providence, RI. At Providence Student Union Philina has been exploring the Ethnic Studies and Counselors not Cops campaigns which are a big interest to them. As part of the Youth Planning Team Philina hopes to collaborate with others to prepare for YLI and make sure that participants learn and have a good time. In their free time they enjoy listening to music and journaling. Philina also enjoys dancing and rollerskating. Most of all they are really looking forward to meeting new people as a YPT member.
Christian Ramos
Christian Ramos (He/him/his) is a youth leader at Young Voices, located in Providence, Rhode Island. He is currently focussed on building a safe space for youth to lead conversations regarding important issues in our communities. On the youth planning team, he will be providing a new perspective on current events, planning, organizing, and he will be contributing his leadership skills. When Christian isn’t advocating for others, he loves conversing with others, making people laugh, learning about history and true crime. He also likes dancing like nobody's watching, when no one is watching of course.