Vieques Youth Leadership Initiative

About VYLI

Our mission: to prepare young and emerging leaders to help build a new Vieques. Founded in 2004, our programs educate, motivate and engage young people to learn how to make their dreams come true.

During the last four years, VYLI has created a comprehensive youth empowerment program with personal and career development training that engages young people to become part of the solution instead of the problem.

Our exhibit in the Vieques Airport features young people and their dreams for their future and for their island. We’ve piloted projects in cultural arts, entrepreneurship, eco-tourism and technology. By harnessing the energy and idealism of youth, VYLI has created long-lasting relationships that will impact the Island’s future.

We’ve also catalyzed community concern for youth. In 2006, VYLI published a report about the daunting challenges facing Vieques’ youth. The Brookings Institute reported that Puerto Rico was twice as poor as the poorest state in the U.S. – and Vieques is the poorest in all of Puerto Rico.

VYLI’s Multicultural Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Technology Initiative has received support from companies, foundations, individuals, government agencies. In 2007, VYLI focused on its essential mission of preparing VYLI alumni to serve as future leaders of Vieques. VYLI college youth took on the ambitious task of creating VYLI’s 2020 Report about their vision for the island’s future. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University selected VYLI’s 2020 Report as a Case Study. We hope this report will inform, inspire and engage people to join with us as partners.

VYLI is a demonstration project of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute, a 501c3 global non-profit educational organization founded in 1997. The Institute is a 501c3 education organization, founded in 1997 by Marianne Larned, author Stone Soup for the World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes (Pan Y Vino Para El Camino ) and its educational curriculum. The Institute develops educational tools, trainings and initiatives for young and emerging leaders to build a better world: