Institute for Youth Leaders

Programs and Projects

A number of programs and projects are envisioned for the Institute for Youth Leaders. Find below related objectives and descriptions of relevant programs.

Objectives Related to Community Services:

To enlarge and expand a program of outreach and consulting services to practitioners and other persons interested in establishing or enhancing youth service

To provide in-service and developmental training programs in cooperation with the University of Northern Iowa's Office of Continuing Education

To initiate demonstration projects which improve or expand or result in the development of new processes and procedures of youth service delivery

Descriptions of Programs and Projects: 

Major Research Initiative

A major research initiative has been planned with the working title of “Youth Voices: Exploring Young People’s Perspectives on Youth Development”. The purpose of the study is for youth to review and comment on policy, actions, socialization processes, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors from a cross-cultural perspective. It is anticipated that we will involve youth from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, in the study. Such factors are greatly influenced by the trends and issues faced by youth and how they find ways to deal with these important concerns. Also, the study will look at how youth offer and propose innovative forms of conducting their own lives. At times the body of knowledge on this topic is produced, discussed, and legitimated within the university domain, the place where these ideas and concepts are engineered, tested, and disseminated. This study will extrapolate the views of youth.

Cedar Valley's Little Free Pantries 

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Youth Academy Cafe (YAC)

This project and the model employed expressively contribute to youth empowerment. Such inquiry in many and various forms, bring fresh and new perspectives forward, that often result in significant changes in the ways in which culture unfolds, contributing to the building of a strong sense of community, commitment to civic action, and a passion for active learning. Read More

Youth Leadership Symposium 

The symposium will be a working conference for youth and human service professionals focused on finding solutions to practical problems. Topics related to building the body of knowledge as related to best practices and youth issues will be incorporated.

Young People's Leadership Development (YPLD)

This program embraces the cultural diversity in the community and provides an opportunity for young people to build their leadership skills.

YPLD is built on the conceptual framework of Serious Leisure and Community Development as defined by one's Community Engagement (SL- CED) to provide an avenue where individuals can gain practical leisure experience, enhance their holistic development, build on their work ethics and improve their professional competencies.

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R.J. McElroy Scholar Lecture

This lecture series has brought distinguished individuals to campus to speak on the topic of youth programs and services. An Advisory Board of 7- 9 individuals has been established to provide guidance and oversight to the programs and services to the Institute for Youth Leaders. It is envisioned the membership on the advisory Board will be drawn partially from the University of Northern Iowa and from other organizations and institutions nationally and internationally. 

IYL Research Fellowship Program

IYL Research Fellowship Program has been designed to engage students, faculty, individually or as a team of scholars, in research activity related to youth development, youth work, and/or youth services.  Awards of $1,000-$2,000 are available to assist in conducting research leading to the writing of an article-length manuscript that is of publishable quality.