A- A+

Youth Leadership Initiative

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all applicants! You will be notified by June 1, 2017 if you have been accepted to this year's program.


Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) introduces, develops and fosters leadership skills among high school sophomores and juniors in Greater Des Moines (DSM) through experiential mentoring and leadership opportunities that enhance self-esteem and encourage involvement in all levels of community life. YLI is an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.


Inspiring participants to impact their community through networking, community engagement and continuous leadership development, both personally and professionally. To connect young adults to organizations in the region where they can seek out volunteer opportunities and engage with local leadership.


The YLI program values:

EMPOWERING youth to connect, participate in change and create their ideal community.

ENCOURAGING youth to become active participants in their community.

ENGAGING youth in opportunities to invest their futures in Des Moines. 


Candidates for the program should:

  • Be entering their sophomore or junior year of high school (2017 - 2018).
  • Have an interest in developing their leadership skills. 
  • Have a desire to learn more about the Des Moines community.

More Information


YLI started as a project of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. Since its inception, 462 students have successfully graduated from this program. Beginning in the fall of 2011, YLI became an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership as part of its focus on talent development.


Please contact Nathan D. Ritz to inquire about current volunteer opportunities with this program. All volunteers must fill out an application, provide copy of current résumé and pass a full background check. 

Social Media

YLI on Twitter
YLI on Facebook