High School Students Can Now Apply for Youth Leadership Institute

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Decatur - Central Illinois High School students are encouraged to apply for the Youth Leadership Institute. 

Millikin University's Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement is partnering with Richland Community College's Office of Student Engagement, and Partners in Education, to offer the Youth Leadership Institute program to the metro-Decatur, Ill., community.


The Youth Leadership Institute is a program designed for high school juniors who have demonstrated a potential for leadership. Its purpose is to prepare students for constructive leadership, community involvement and responsible participation in the future of the Decatur area.

The institute features eight events and opportunities for students to learn about leadership planning and growth in their community. 

"We are excited to be carrying on the legacy of YLI with our generous community partners and now Millikin University," said Alex Berry, coordinator of student engagement at Richland Community College. "YLI is the spark that is needed to develop the holistic leadership skills of our area youth."

Over the course of eight months, August 2016 - April 2017, students will visit with various businesses and stakeholders around the community engaging in topics including: Government, Arts and Media, Social Services, Recreation, Education, Diversity, Business, Health Care and Civic Engagement. Students will spend time learning from various leaders and connecting it back to a final project that will be presented at the YLI graduation ceremony in April 2017.

Millikin University and Richland Community College will both create college student cohorts to participate in YLI alongside the high school students. Each cohort will focus on a final project that connects leadership and community engagement.

"We are looking forward to the changes happening in the program that will create a strong foundation of leadership for the students," said Molly Berry, director of inclusion and student engagement at Millikin University. "Millikin is thrilled to be working with Richland as part of this initiative."
High School students can apply for the program in the spring of their sophomore year, and are approved by their high school principal. Students must show leadership within the school or through community-based activities, and have an interest in furthering their knowledge in the metro-Decatur area.

All applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 18, 2016. This year's applicants will be notified of their selection status by May 2, 2016.

For more information on the Youth Leadership Institute, contact Molly Berry at 217.424.6335 or by e-mail at mberry@millikin.edu; or contact Alex Berry at 217.875.7211 ext. 314 or by e-mail at aberry@richland.edu.       

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