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This summer, we set out to better understand the impact of our Youth Global Leadership Program (YGL). This evaluation is driven by our belief that to be an effective organization, we must intentionally reflect on how closely our mission is emulated in the work that we do; and who better to support with program evaluation than Aleiya Evison, former YGLer herself?

We have arrived at a critical moment in the evolution of the YGL program, as we currently have 12 YGL alumni out in the world continuing to grow their leadership skills and create positive change. These alumni are majoring in studies from Chemistry, to International Studies, to Studio Art, to Social Entrepreneurship. Just as their voices helped shape the program from its inception, their feedback is similarly crafting the program’s future. The youth-driven spirit of the YGL program is what makes it so unique, and we appreciate our program alumni for making this Impact Assessment possible.

We are also grateful for Aleiya Evison, who as a YGL Program Intern, led and launched this investigation into how the YGL program impacts its alumni. By asking questions about what’s working and where the areas of improvement lie, Aleiya helped  illuminate programmatic challenges and successes, and is ultimately guiding us in the process of moving forward and deepening our impact on current YGL members.

Below are just a few highlights from our first-ever “YGL Alumni Impact Assessment.”

How are the leadership skills you gained in YGL influencing your current life, work, and education experience?

I feel comfortable taking on leadership roles in a university setting and have confidence in my ability to fulfill these positions. -Emily Robertson

How would you rate your overall experience in the YGL program?

YGL was the best program I could have been a part of in high school. It exposed me to ideas about service and sustainability that most people my age haven’t even dreamed of yet and I met some of the best people Colorado has to offer. -Rachel Moline

 YGL was pivotal in shaping my interests and path during high school. I feel that I grew as a leader during my four years in YGL, and I was able to look at the world through a more critical lens. The multitude of experiences I was part of in YGL helped me to understand my community and myself in a deeper context. -Aleiya Evison

Would you recommend the program to others?

The current high school (and college) culture is a shallow and disappointing one and so to be in a program that allows you to develop your own ideas about things pertinent to a more thoughtful sustainable society is critical. -Rachel Moline

Want to read more? Here is the complete 2014 YGL Alumni Impact Assessment .

AleiyaAleiya is a student at the University of Oregon, and a proud alumna of the Youth Global Leadership program. She is currently studying Family and Human Services, and plans on pursuing a career in advocacy for youth and social change. Her passions include restorative justice, youth empowerment, and community building. When she’s not at school, you can find her outdoors, watching slam poetry, or singing. It was an honor to have Aleiya on the Philanthropiece team this past summer!