YLC Boston, our foundational youth leadership conference, continues to be a successful experience year after year. Bringing together 50 students from the Greater Boston area each August, YLC Boston represents the enormous potential for change that exists right at home. The students of the Leadership Institute at Harvard College push the students to develop, refine, and explore their roles as leaders in their school and community, resulting in innovative social change projects to make the Boston area a healthier, safer, and hopeful home.

Each YLC Boston conference begins with the YLC Counselors and Junior Counselors welcoming our students on Monday morning to the Harvard campus at the Student Organization Center at Hilles. We proceed through the week learning about the definition of leadership, teamwork, creativity, and public speaking. Intertwined each day are interactive activities, including a scavenger hunt through the streets of Cambridge, effective workshops with Harvard Business School professors, as well as case study discussion groups to examine the community issues that exist at home in Boston. Each student pairs up in a group to tackle one of these community dilemmas, resulting in a solution, timeline, mission, and goals for a new initiative they wish to develop. The week ends on Friday with professional presentations by the students to demonstrate to their peers and parents the success of the week. Students’ social change projects prove time and time again to be engaging and instructive, as many ideas from YLC Boston come to fruition in the days and weeks following our conference. From a New England-wide seminar on the detrimental effects of texting and driving to a school assembly on how to properly administer an Epi-pen in emergency situations, our YLC Boston students amaze us each year in their pursuit to change the world.

As we have seen, the YLC Boston conference brings together the change-makers in today’s high school generation. We firmly believe in the abilities within youth to inspire and lead successful change, as YLC Boston is our annual reminder. We are so proud of our students here at home in Boston, and we are excited to see where the program takes us in the coming years!