Youth Leadership Institute
The Pearl Elegance Foundation, Inc., in collaboration with Psi Epsilon Omega Chapter, had twenty-two youth participate in its first Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) cohort! YLI, an instrumental international service program for Alpha Kappa Alpha under its Empower Our Families initiative, is a youth-led and highly interactive leadership development program designed to empower and engage youth ages 11-13 to build upon their leadership capabilities.
Some of the YLI program themes include believing in the power of yourself, imagining the future and its possibilities, taking action in politics and societal issues, planting for the planet, exploring career options, and being the change we want to see.
During the first cohort, youth focused on the leadership qualities of self-awareness through the concept of a growth mindset, led activities that focused on goal setting as a critical social-emotional development skill that helps leadership development, participated in youth-led activities focusing on political, economic, and social conversations that help them become agents of positive change in their communities, and learned about the importance of planting native flowers, trees, and shrubs to maintain ecosystems within their communities from local environmentalists.
Some activities that reinforced each theme included creating a T-shirt, solving a series of puzzles within a certain amount of time to accomplish a goal, participating in a Tree Planting project, putting together a fashion show focused on dressing for success, and participating in a soup donation drive to support the Bowie Interfaith Pantry and Emergency Fund.
The second cohort of the Youth Leadership Institute program will start in October 2023.