Who we are

Our mission: To create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world with young people, their schools, and their communities through service-learning.

For more than 30 years, the National Youth Leadership Council has transformed classrooms, empowered teachers, and captivated students by leading the way in providing high-quality, dynamic service-learning content to school districts, classrooms, out-of-school youth programs, and everything in between.

Our programs and services develop young leaders, support educators, and advance the field of service-learning.

NYLC accelerates student achievement in school districts by strengthening academic, civic, and character outcomes through service-learning. We tap into the passion, creativity, and ingenuity of all young people to make meaningful change happen. NYLC offers a variety of paths to reach service-learning excellence through online content, customized professional development, tools, resources, and more. We are leading the way to address real world issues with all young people, inspiring them to Serve. Learn. Change the world.®

Our Values

Youth Voice
Leadership by and with youth for all

We recognize youth as partners in decision-making. When given the opportunity to lead, youth understand their right and obligation to act in the benefit of the public good. From young people who are affected by issues, to adult allies who work with them, we actively build shared leadership that creates space for each person to take ownership and affect change.

Courage to challenge assumptions

We strive to exhibit the passion, creativity, and ingenuity needed to address world issues. We have the courage to swim against the stream to develop new roles for youth and new ways of learning that challenge assumptions. Our commitments to shared leadership and to gathering the perspectives of a wide range of youth and adults help position us at the forefront of the youth development field.

Embrace multiple perspectives for common purpose

We affirm all perspectives with respect and appreciation. Contribution and leadership from diverse voices is valuable and we strive to give every stakeholder a seat at the table in decision-making. We believe groups and individuals are made stronger through differences, both within the organization and when acting with external partners. Recognizing that there is tension among interests, we gain a stronger perspective on issues when we approach them with vulnerability and humility. By embracing our differences we can find common purpose.

Stewardship through trust and transparency

We aim to demonstrate congruence between our actions and words. We strive to act as responsible stewards of our stakeholders’ and the public’s trust, our resources, and mission. Our goal is to be transparent and hold ourselves accountable to our processes, outcomes, organizational partnerships, and relationships.

Growth & Learning
Cultivate communities through inspired individuals

We support individual growth and development with the intention to engage a larger community in a higher public purpose. Our work and relationships with other individuals, organizations, and partners are catalysts for growth of whole persons. We constantly seek improvement through these interactions with others, formal and informal learning experiences, and through self-reflection. We promote building capacity in both adults and youth by identifying, affirming, and drawing on individual passions and strengths. We strive to create belonging and connectedness not only through our programs, but in our professional relationships.

View our strategic plan, staff and Board of Directors, meet the Youth Advisory Council, and read about NYLC’s founder, Dr. James Kielsmeier.




View NYLC’s 2014 Annual Report and 2011, 2012, or 2013 990.