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Mayor's Youth Leadership Institute

The Mayor's Youth Leadership Institute (MYLI) was founded in 1979 as a year-round program to train District of Columbia youth in the concepts of leadership and self-development. The MYLI training model emphasizes practical, hands-on experience and a holistic approach to developing leaders for the 21st century. Each year, 250 young people participate in the year-round program and 500 youth participate in the Summer Training Program. Thousands of DC youth have received leadership training to date.

Members of the Institute come from a wide cross-section of ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds, reflective of the general population of the city. Leadership development training begins for members of the Institute at age 14, and generally concludes at age 17, when they are ready for college or other post-secondary opportunities. The Institute is strongly supported by its Alumni Association, an auxiliary group which meets regularly to generate support for the Institute.

Youth leaders are active in a variety of programs and special projects that allow them to demonstrate their acquired skills. These activities include:

  • MYLI Youth Government - a replication of the District government
  • Overnight residential training on local college campuses and local camp sites
  • Serving as hosts to youth visiting the Nation's Capital from cities across the United States and from countries around the world.
  • Developing and publishing a MYLI newsletter
  • Hosting an annual public speaking competition for youth
  • Hosting an annual Community Awards Banquet
  • Performing community service work
  • Sponsoring issues forums with local government officials and prominent industry professionals

For more information about MYLI, contact the following:

DC Department of Employment Services
Office of Youth Programs
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20019
Phone: (202) 698-3991

Returning Youth Application

  •  The 2014 MYLI Application for MYLI Returning Youth is now closed.
1st Year Youth Application 
  • The 2014 MYLI Application for New Youth is now closed.
MYLI Fact Sheet157.52 KB
Service Contact: 
Department of Employment Services
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 698-3492
Contact Fax: 
(202) 698-5693
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
2nd Floor
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm