Amy Meuers
Chief Executive Officer


Amy is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Leadership Council and is committed to ensuring all young people become civically informed and engaged global citizens. Amy joined NYLC in 2004 after working for ten years in marketing and communications with Travelers Insurance. She became CEO of NYLC in 2015 after serving in various positions including Chief Operations Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.

Amy has spoken at national and international conferences, led sessions on service-learning and youth engagement, and written numerous articles and blogs on the importance of youth voice and civic action. She believes when young people are engaged in real-world experiences as part of their education, they become passionate advocates for making the world a better place.

Amy was born and raised in Minnesota where she and her husband have raised their two children. She is an avid volunteer in her community and a life-long learner. She holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Regis University, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Globe University, and an Executive Leadership Certificate from Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation in partnership with the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the National Human Services Assembly.

Dr. Sue Root
Senior Research Fellow

Sue Root

Sue brings more than 25 years of experience in teacher education, consulting, and research in service-learning. She taught pre-service teachers at Alma College for 16 years. While at Alma, she was a regional director of the National Service-Learning in Teacher Education Partnership and co-wrote Service-Learning in Teacher Education: A Handbook. Sue has led the evaluation of several service-learning projects and developed a bank of measures of academic and social outcomes of service-learning. She was the content editor of Growing to Greatness, NYLC’s publication on the state of service-learning. Prior to her work with NYLC, she was a Senior Research Associate at RMC Research Corporation, Denver.

Sue’s recent publications include: Service-Learning by Design; and Service-Learning in Elementary Schools: What’s Developmentally Appropriate? (with Natalie Seum); “Research Demonstrates the Value of Service-Learning: Significant Studies Point to the Value of Service Learning, but the Field Needs More Experimental Research to Firmly Establish the Value of this Approach,” in Phi Delta Kappan, 91(5); and “Service-Learning as a Promising Approach for High School Civic Engagement” in J. Bixby & J. Pace (Eds.) Educating Citizens for Troubled Time: Qualitative Studies of Current Efforts. Albany, Ny: SUNY Press.

Dr. Michael Van Keulen
Vice President of Organizational Development


Dr. Michael VanKeulen was born and raised in Minnesota. He became a high school teacher in 1990 where he developed is philosophy of a family centered childhood development system. In 2000, he left teaching to become better connected to the diverse communities through the public and private institutions.  This work has focused upon increasing the capacity of diverse community stakeholders claiming their authority as citizen in the responsibility of developing our society’s next generations of civic leaders.  With a strong interest in environmental sustainability, human cultural diversity, and social justice, Michael has traveled extensively through Europe, Asia, and Africa – seeking new models of child development and community wellbeing.

Michael has been involved in the development of numerous new programs including; development of NYLC’s Project Ignition, NYLC’s K-12 district-wide curriculum revision, and the nation’s first public schools to provide full language immersion – one Mandarin (2006) and one Arabic (in process).  As the Executive Director for both Open Path Resources and the Education Management Organization, Students Prepared to Succeed, he has developed new ways to connect community and schools to improve students’ educational outcomes.