Youth Leadership Institute
Working at the YLI during the summer was a wonderful experience. I really feel like I was able to practice what I learned at USF, as well as learning new things. Growing up, we all learn about the value behind hard work and the importance of working hard to achieve great things. And I do feel that the people at YLI have applied this value to their everyday work in building “communities where young people and their adult allies come together to create positive social change.” (www.yli.org)
As I had mentioned on my previous blog post, my task at YLI touched on many different topics. The tasks that I was able to help contribute to were:
- To assist the President and CEO of YLI, Maureen Sedonaen, in the development of materials for a power point that was presented to prevention providers in New Zealand
- To research important information regarding community based foundations at the Foundation Center by collecting and organizing information about different foundations across the country
- To prepare a presentation concentrated on C.R.M. (Customer Relationship Management: process to track and organize contacts with current and prospective supporters), along with Max Cohen, Education and Research Coordinator at YLI. The CRM for our presentation was Salsa provided by DIA (Democracy In Action)
- To update and organize YLI’s marketing materials, with Max and Lisa Nowlain, the communications and marketing assistant at YLI
- To compose a list of the conferences that YLI has attended in the past and some they are planning on attending in the near future. This lets YLI have a list to refer to regarding the conferences they attend and the opportunities that each conference offers to YLI
In addition to the task above, I also was able to work on other projects such us:
- To upload some paper works to the company’s servers
- To gather documents into designated areas to the servers to make them easily accessible for YLI to compile training materials
I am happy to say that I was able to accomplish all the projects above except the Community Foundation research project. Though I was able to do a great amount of research for this project, there are additional steps to be done before it is complete.
Each of the projects that I worked on added its own value to my experience at YLI. For one, all these projects gave me the chance to work with lots of people at YLI. Though I worked mostly with Max and Dr. Jennifer Lyle, the Vice President of Education and Research, working on all the different projects also gave me the opportunity to work with other people at YLI, including Maureen, the founder of YLI, and other people outside of YLI such as the people at the Foundation Center-San Francisco location.
Most of these projects required me to do a lot of research, but being a business student, I had done a great amount of research in the past. And the research I did at YLI once again enforced the idea that research is an important ingredient to create a successful project.
In addition to applying my skills, I was also able to gain other important lessons from working at YLI. One lesson that I got from the people at YLI (Youth Leadership Institute) was getting a deeper understanding of the fact that “organizations don’t make up the people, the people make up the organization.” As a non-profit Institution, the people at YLI have been able to really show this in their work; I find that the passion and the effort that people at YLI put is reflected in their work. The wonderful work ethics at YLI has really made the experience an even greater experience.
Working at YLI has made me have a greater understanding of their work and its impact. After working at the San Francisco office and meeting the people that work there, including some Youth leaders, I saw how far their projects go locally, nationally and internationally. YLI offers different types of methods to address important issues, and I am truly grateful for being part of their work and mission.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been interning at Youth Leadership Institute at the San Francisco office. YLI is an institution that provides training sessions and many other services to help other institutions, non-profits, etc. As stated by their website (www.yli.org), YLI “builds communities where young people and their adult allies come together to create positive social change. YLI designs and implements community-based programs that provide youth with leadership skills in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse prevention, philanthropy, and civic engagement. Building on these real-world program experiences, YLI creates curricula and training programs that foster social change efforts across the nation, all while promoting best practices in the field of youth development.”
Working at YLI has been a very pleasant experience. I started out working with Carlos Mejia, Vice President for the Community-Based Programs Bay Area, as my contact person for the internship, but due to his relocation to the YLI San Mateo office, I had to change my contact person, who is presently Dr. Jennifer Lyle. I appreciated the amount of concern both of them made to make this internship a good experience for me. They made sure to get my thoughts and concerns in before assigning me to any projects. Since my first week here, I have been able to work on different projects.
The first project that I participated gave me the opportunity to work with the founder of YLI, who is presently the President and CEO of YLI, Maureen Sedonaen. My task was to assist in the development of materials for a power point that was presented to prevention providers in New Zealand. Working on this project showed me how YLI’s programs reach out beyond their boarders. The presentation that Maureen did in New Zealand had great importance, considering that it might have some influence over the current policy changes/modifications that were being considered in NZ; policies concerning drugs, alcohol and tobacco and their impact on the youth of NZ. Working on this project gave me a great start to my PSIP internship here at YLI.
Though most of the NZ project and the some of my other projects consider a lot of research, each project gives me the ability to see and understand the different aspects of the non-profit organization. Though I have worked in a non-profit organization before, I had never had the opportunity to work on site and be surrounded by the people that make up the programs.
Starting with my second week here at YLI I have been working on many other projects. I have been researching important information regarding community based foundations. I have been collecting and organizing information about different foundations across the country. Throughout the rest of my internship here, I have been mostly working directly with Max Cohen, who is the Education and Research Coordinator at Youth Leadership Institute. All my projects that I have done have been under his guidance and advice. The projects that I have worked on have also given me the opportunity to work with my contact person for the PSIP internship here at YLI, Dr. Jennifer Lyle, who is the Vice President of Education and Research. I also had chance to work with Lisa Nowlain, the communications and marketing assistant at YLI, and Max on YLI’s marketing materials.
Recently, I have mainly been concentrating on a research for a presentation I was presenting to the Education and Research staff along with Max. Our presentation concentrated on C.R.M. (Customer Relationship Management-process to track and organize contacts with current and prospective supporters). The CRM that we focused on was provided by DIA (Democracy In Action). DIA provided a CRM called Salsa and the website Salsa Commons which was set up to instruct Salsa users on how to use the program to reach out and maintain relationship with clients and supporters. This is something of great importance for the Marketing strategy and the online presence of YLI.
In addition to the projects mentioned above, I am also working on composing a list of the conferences that YLI has attended in the past and some they are planning on attending in the near future. This will let YLI have a list to refer to regarding the conferences they attend and the opportunities that each conference offers to YLI. My remaining time here at YLI will be spent working on trying to finish the Conference list and the Foundation Center research that I am working on.
My internship at YLI has been enjoyable up to this point. This is an internship where I have been able to implement the things that I have learned in school and in life. But most importantly I feel as though I am also learning a lot.
By: Marechet Belete