GYLI will offer two 10-day programs, one in India and one in the USA, in the summer of 2011. These programs will incorporate the major themes of all GYLI programs: collaborative leadership, multi-cultural identity, religious pluralism, and environmental sustainability. Using a social entrepreneurship model, each participant will prepare and present a Leader Learning Plan during these programs. LLP's guide the participants' work back in their home schools and communities, and ensure that their transfer of learning is smooth and realistic. All participants will post their LLP's on the GYLI website so that continuous feedback can be provided on their projects. GYLI plans to continue these programs in 2012 and beyond, increasing participation slightly each year to create long-lasting relationships among participants in both countries. The exchange students will be connected online before, during, and after the exchange, in student moderated social networking sites that offer formal and informal opportunities to connect and develop projects.
In India, the program will be based at Mahindra United World College of India (MUWCI) and in the city of Pune. GYLI will explore many aspects of poverty such as housing, waste management, job training programs and the relationship between poverty and the environment. Participants will work with a variety of local educational institutions, NGO's, universities, and businesses. They will also engage in several collaborative leadership experiences to explore the power of youth leadership. Many of the presenters will be long-time youth workers who can both inspire students as well has help them direct their energies towards positive change. Tasks such as an urban problem solving mission will help students see the real consequences of poverty and religious intolerance.
In the USA, the program will be based in Boston, MA and Mystic, CT. GYLI will explore a variety of poverty reduction programs, environmental programs, educational institutions, NGOs, universities, and businesses. They will also travel to Mystic, CT and sail on a tall ship for two days to explore the environmental and community building aspects of a tall-ship. Historic ships, such as the Amistad in Connecticut, provide a platform for learning that establishes a tight community where all must work together to live, eat, and navigate the ship.
Each program will include home-stays, so that participants experience the other country at the grassroots level. Participating teachers will also receive professional development on the topic of youth leadership development, before, during, and after the programs. GYLI has developed an online graduate course with SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont, in which participating teachers can enroll to extend and strengthen their gains from the program. Entitled 'Teaching Leadership for Global Issues,' this course focuses on reflection in teaching and youth leadership development.
One important topic will be the role of gender and leadership, which is important in both countries. GYLI will recruit an equal number of boys and girls for the program, and the staff will also seek gender balance to ensure that girls see strong examples of female leaders.
Phase 1: June-July 2010: pilot programs in India and USA. Finalize all partnerships and local environmental projects
Phase 2: September-December 2010: Recruiting and selecting students for 2011 program
Phase 3: September-December 2010: Revise curriculum and activities based on 2010 pilot programs
Phase 4: June/July 2011 - June/July 2013: Run full programs in both India and USA
Since 2002 GYLI has delivered transformative educational programs that build strong leaders. Both developing nations and developed nations need strong youth leaders to engage their communities in action on important issues such as climate change, inter-faith leadership, and poverty reduction. GYLI has seen its programs grow from 22 students in 2002 to 250 students in 2009. During this time, many schools and organizations have begun or expanded their work in these areas. However, few programs exist that really explore and develop leadership skills among high school students. GYLI has proven models that create internal and external change and aim to work with partners to ensure this growth in youth leadership. These models include tools to develop collaborative leadership capacities, religious awareness, and environmental change.