National Youth Leadership Council

National Youth Leadership Council
National Youth Leadership Council

Logo of National Youth Leadership Council
Abbreviation NYLC
Formation 1983
Type Youth organization
Legal status Non-profit organization
Headquarters St. Paul, MN
Location  United States
CEO Kelita Svoboda Bak
Website National Youth Leadership Council

The National Youth Leadership Council, or NYLC, is a national nonprofit organization located in Saint Paul, Minnesota that promotes service-learning in schools and communities across the United States. Founded in 1983 by Dr. James Kielsmeier, NYLC is the host of the annual National Service-Learning Conference. The organization is a proponent of service-learning and national service in the United States.[1]



Founded in 1983,[2] to "create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world with young people, their schools, and their communities through service-learning", the National Youth Leadership Council began hosting the National Service-Learning Conference in 1989.[3] In 1993 the organization became the main training and technical assistance for the Corporation for National Service focused on service learning.[4] Dr. Kielsmeier retired from NYLC at the end of 2010, and the organization is now led by CEO Kelita Svoboda Bak.


The annual National Service-Learning Conference draws approximately 3000 participants each year that represent every state and 35 countries. NYLC led a student news team to the Presidents' Summit in 1997 and cosponsored the subsequent 2000 National Youth Summit in Orlando. NYLC programs have included partnerships with schools, colleges, major corporations, government, faith-based organizations and other nonprofits. According to USAID, between 1993 and 1996 NYLC created successful literacy, vocational education, and public service programs for over 200 former militia and unemployed young adults through the Somalia Youth Service Corps. The organization built an adventure and service-learning training model for a residential camp near Nairobi that involved both in- and out-of-school youth from rural urban areas.[5]

NYLC publishes an annual research publication, Growing to Greatness that seeks to document the scope, scale, and impacts of service-learning. Five full editions are now in print, published every year since 2004. Each edition features a series of topical research articles from leading scholars in the field as well as qualitative profiles of several U.S. states and territories and, increasingly, state-by-state data on service-learning and positive youth contributions.[6]

In 2008, NYLC released the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice that detail the eight standards of quality service-learning, with three to five accompanying indicators for each standard. The standards are the result of a national review process that began with research from the field and vetted the previously-published Essential Elements of Service-Learning through a series of reactor panels to arrive at the final document.[7]

In 2009, NYLC launched the Generator School Network (GSN), a community of schools with staff passionate about service-learning that have joined together to learn from each other and improve their service-learning practice.Through the GSN, educators are able to connect with other schools and experts in the field that share a common set of ideals. Members of the GSN are able to access exclusive resources created both by NYLC and the larger service-learning community. These resources are tied closely with the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice and the Service-Learning Cycle for a unique approach to professional development.

In 2010, NYLC created and launched a video-based training tool for service-learning called Lift: Raising the Bar for Service-Learning. By following service-learning projects at three schools, the videos and printable resources examine each of the eight standards of service-learning first published in 2008. The videos feature interviews with students, teachers, and school administrators in St. Paul, MN's Central High School, Harry Hurst Middle School in Destrehan, Louisiana, and New Foundations Charter School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Lift website is part of the resources of the Generator School Network, but also used as a standalone training resource.

See also


  1. ^ Kielsmeier, J.C. and Scheibel, J. (2008) "Service Learning: An On-Ramp to National Service", Education Week. Retrieved 11/1/08.
  2. ^ "History", Learn and Serve America's National Service Learning Clearinghouse. Retrieved 11/1/08.
  3. ^ "National Youth Leadership Council", State Farm. Retrieved 11/1/08.
  4. ^ "National Youth Leadership Council", America's Promise. Retrieved 11/1/08.
  5. ^ "National Youth Leadership Council", USAID. Retrieved 11/1/08.
  6. ^ "Service Learning: What have we learned?", Youth Today. Retrieved 11/1/08.
  7. ^ National Youth Leadership Council. (2008) K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. Saint Paul: Author.

External links