We want our students to develop into the future leaders of our community. 

BRMA sponsors the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) for high school students from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. The Blue Ribbon Youth Leadership Institute is dedicated to providing students with leadership opportunities, service-learning projects, and college exposure, with a focus on improving access to these opportunities for students of color.

The core of YLI is a summer camp that helps students develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. We use experiential education methods to help students gain experiences now that will prove valuable to their futures. When it comes time for them to lead, they will be willing, confident, and able!

Throughout the school year, YLI students practice their leadership skills and make a meaningful difference in their community by engaging in local service projects. Students who participate in service on a regular basis become eligible for opportunities to engage in service in other communities on our annual alternative spring break trip. Our alternative spring break trips have included projects like rebuilding houses in the 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina and working in on environmental justice projects in Washington D.C.

We hope our students learn an ethic of “servant leadership.” They form clubs at their schools to promote this and practice these skills. The YLI clubs meet regularly to learn more about leadership, reflect on the lessons they gain from service, and provide peer support for each other. Students learn to stand in the clear, speak their mind, advocate for change, and become compassionate leaders. These are skills they can take with them to college and beyond.

Download the YLI Fact Sheet to learn more about our program.