Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you're going to do and just go do it. --Marilyn Grey

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot. --D. H. Lawrence

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. --Carl W. Buechne

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. --Winston Churchill

A passive and ignorant citizenry will never create a sustainable world. --Andrew Gaines

Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door. --Kyle Chandler

Youth Leadership Development Organizations

The following nonprofits have resources and opportunities for youth leaders who want to make a difference in the world.

Roots & Shoots: Founded by Dr. Jane Goodall in 1992 with a group of Tanzanian students. Today the program is in over 120 countries. Roots & Shoots supports groups ages pre-k to college age who design and implement service projects to help people, animals and the environment. There are a variety of campaigns on their website that you can become involved in and a database of other group's projects. High school students from the United States can apply to be on the National Youth Leadership Council. Through this program, the participants are provided with a network of other young change makers and professional development opportunities. To learn more about the program visit:

Youth Service America: This organization’s goal is to increase the number of youth who serve. Their Global Youth Service day unites young people from over 100 countries in a day of service. They also provide over $1 million in grant funding for schools, organizations and youth led projects. Their “Everyday Young Heroes” and “Harris Wofford Awards” honor incredible youth and adult mentors who support young people. There is also a Youth Council which leads the organization in a variety of ways to find out more about this program visit:

Vital Voices: Vital Voices is a global organization that has supported over 14,000 emerging women leaders from 144 countries. They provide mentorship opportunities, professional networks and support. Every year, women leaders from around the world are honored at the “Global Leadership Awards” in Washington D.C. for their exceptional service to their communities and countries. Their youth program, ANNPower is a joint partnership between Vital Voices and ANN Inc. (parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT). Every year, 50 high school sophomore and junior girls are selected as ANNpower Fellows. They attend a leadership forum where they are mentored by women leaders from around the globe. After returning home, Fellows are invited to apply for a mini-grant to support their own community improvement projects. To learn more visit:

Global Explorers: This nonprofit organization organizes travel for students. Its mission is to inspire responsible global citizens. Programs are available for individuals, classes, Girl Scouts, Roots&Shoots groups and clubs. They provide fundraising tools and themed curriculum for pre and post travel. To learn more visit:


Sign up for Youth Service America’s weekly newsletter. This resource is packed with award and service opportunities. It’s also a great way to learn about peers who are involved in a huge variety of service campaigns.


Roots & Shoots: I have been a member of the National Youth Leadership Council for 4 years. In that time, I have made friends across the country who are changing their own communities, and have traveled to New Orleans, Seattle and New York City for the national retreats. I have designed numerous regional and national campaigns and have represented Dr. Jane Goodall in Michigan, Chicago, Oregon and Jackson Hole.

Global Explorers: I had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia for three weeks with Global Explorers as part of the American Youth Leadership Program. This program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department was truly inspiring and life changing. I gained new perspectives on development, conservation and human rights. I returned home after experiencing poverty and genocide with gratitude for the xperience and the people I had the privilege to meet.

Vital Voices: As an ANNPower fellow I have enjoyed learning from a network of girls across the country who are making the world a better place. I was fortunate to be mentored by Maria Pacheco, a leader from Guatemala who truly transformed the way I think about economic development and empowerment. To learn more about my experience, check out my blog: I was also selected as an "ANNPower Global Delegate" and represented Vital Voices at the "Women's Forum for the Economy and Society" in Burma.