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Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute

The MBYLI 2024 Summer Intensive Training application is now available, CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

The District's Longtime Youth Leadership Institute Renamed in Honor of Founder Marion Barry

The Mayor's Youth Leadership Institute (MYLI) has been re-designated as the “Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute” in honor of the late Councilmember and former Mayor Marion S. Barry, Jr., who passed away on November 23, 2014.

The Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI) was founded in 1979 as a year-round program to train District of Columbia youth in the concepts of leadership and self-development. The MBYLI training model emphasizes practical, hands-on experience and a holistic approach to developing leaders for the 21st century. Each year, 150 young people participate in the year-round program and 350 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:

  • MBYLI Youth Government - a replication of the District government
  • Overnight residential training on local college campuses and local campsites
  • 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 MBYLI 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
  • U.S. Bank Focus Card Pre-Acquisition Disclosure


For more information about MBYLI, contact the following:

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

If there are any questions regarding MBYLI please email us at [email protected]



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