MVYLI College Prep, Field Trip & Scholarship Program -- 2013-2014
For 2013-2014 MVYLI has expanded our program with a new group of sophomores, juniors and seniors who are pursuing their dreams for their lives, their island and the world.  Our College Prep Program helps Vineyard youth explore their options and make good decisions aligned with their life and career goals.  They aspire to become an immigration lawyer, international business, environmental scientist, biologist, farmer, doctor, nurse, physical therapist, lawyer, politician, public relations, artist, musician, film maker, business executive, and entrepreneur.

MVYLI Welcomes New Project Coordinator
Galen Ryley


MVYLI welcomes Galen Ryley as our new College Prep Program Coordinator.  Mrs. Ryley recently moved to the Vineyard with her husband and 10-month-old son.  For the last six years Galen Ryley was a school counsellor at a public high school in Rhode Island, where she worked with 9th-12th graders on acclimating to high school, goal setting, career and college search. Mrs. Ryley has a M.Ed. in School Counselling from Loyola College in Maryland. An avid sailor, Mrs. Ryley is an undergraduate in Human Studies with a concentration in Environmental Studies is from St. Mary's College of Maryland.  


Our youth need to feel what they are doing in school and in their community is a part of their personal journey. They need to have opportunities that as a part of the community they can learn to use their voice.

Galen Ryley

MVYLI College Field Trips


Some MVYLI youth are the first in their family to go to college. We coordinate College Field Trips to public and private universities -- arranging meetings with academic advisors, professors and students in their field of interest.  First we conduct workshops and individual sessions to explore their career goals and college options.  We meet with their guidance counselors to develop an action plan. We meet with parents to review youth goals.  We prepare portfolios with photos, letters of recommendation and press. We encourage parents to attend Senior Parents Night and support them with the FAFSA process. We invite MVYLI Alumni and supporters to dinner to share their experiences.  We assist with both college and scholarship application process.


Lucy Norris with David Scott Palmer, School of International Relations

Thank you for taking time to meet with me. Your advice really helped steer me in the right direction for my future. Your experiences and knowledge of the field inspire me!

Lucy Norris


Dr. Jim Wolff, School of Public Health

with Taynara Goncalves and Lucie Doughtery-Soares

It was a blast being with Taynara and Lucie; both are so poised and so smart. It is hard to believe they are only sophomores in high school because it seems like they would be great graduate students. I certainly enjoyed the afternoon and hope we will do it again sometime. Thanks again for everything you did in putting the trip together.  

Dr. Jim Wolff, MD MPH, School of Public Health   


What great kids are in the program. I was very happy to be there and also happy to come to MVYLI over the weekend.

Barbara Macdonald

Toron DeLuz with Greg Brown,
UMass Amherst School of Engineering

Once Toron applies, email me his Admission ID number so I can sift through the 34,000 applicants. I can track his progress with Admissions. I can't give him a response, but I can follow-up with him directly if something maybe hanging up his application.  Thank you for being so proactive for incredible students.

Greg Brown


Jackie Menton visited brand new Commonwealth Honors College. Characterized by small classes and close interaction with faculty, the Honors College provides a diverse community of academically talented students with extensive opportunities for analysis, research, leadership and community engagement.


MVYLI Youth Had Dinner with

MVYLI Alumni Maggie Riseborough

UMass Junior Elise Quebec, and
Mt. Holyoke Senior Margaret Putnam-Delaney


Hey Maggie, Thanks for answering all four thousand of my questions!



Thanks for coming out to dinner with us. It was really great to be able to talk with someone from the Vineyard about college life at UMass Amherst.



Thanks Elise for having dinner with us. We gained some really great insights into UMass Amherst programs.


Thank you for all the insight! You really gave me an idea about what UMass Amherst is like.  

Tallula Brodsky 
Isenberg School of Management


Thanks from MVYLI's College Freshmen


College is a lot of fun.  I love my school and everyone here. Can't wait to tell you all about it! 

Sivana Brown, Lasell College


Sivana Brown with Kassandra Castillo Cruz Robert Manchin, Gallup Europe


Hello! I'm doing great! I'll be in touch for sure the next time I'm home! I saw this video today and was thinking of MVYLI! Hope it can brighten your day like it brightened mine! 

Julia Cooper, Colgate University

In these 3 years I have grown and changed so much. I now have the confidence to accomplish anything I put my mind to. I am really so thankful you have been a part of my life.

Isabella El-Deiry, Howard University

Words can never describe how grateful I am for all you have done for me.  Thanks to you I have a career path I am happy with, I have the skills to network and I feel better prepared for anything the future holds. I know at time we kids, myself included, can be flaky, unreliable, or seem unwilling; but what you're doing for the youth on Martha's Vineyard is absolutely incredible. On behalf of myself and all those kids who you've helped: Thank you! God bless and warm regards  

Jacob Lawrence, Communications Major, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mary Ollen  
with Jonathan Blum, Yum Brand 

 Island Connections at the 

 Harbor View Hotel with 
 Max Conway, 
 Dan Stanton, Jim McKenna

Lucie, Dr. Wolff, Barbara MacDonald, Taynara


MVYLI's NEW Mentoring Program


This year we are building on MVYLI's Job Shadow Day where youth are matched with people in their specific fields.  Some youth are developing ongoing mentorship relationships with seasonal residents involved with Max Conway's Island Connections. Max is a summer resident and senior at Georgetown Prep in Washington D.C., who developed a community service project to support Vineyard youth with seasonal Vineyard residents.


10th grader Marcelle Alves aspires to become an immigration lawyer.  Last spring Marcelle helped organize a luncheon for Brazilian youth encouraging them to realize their dreams and go to college.  This fall Marcelle was matched with Rebecca McCarthy who is a new immigration lawyer on the Vineyard.  Every week Marcelle learns about the complexities of a law practice, and also serves as a translator for some of Rebecca's Brazilian clients. Marcelle Alves with Rebecca McCarthy, Esq.


Rebecca has done EVERYTHING I want to do. AND she went to the University of Connecticut which is one of the schools I like. It's awesome! 

Marcelle Alves 


Charlotte is a terrific young lady. I am quite sure she will go far in life. I made arrangements for her to speak with one of the best college counselors in the business. Only good things can happen from that interaction. Happy to help her as she moves forward.

Dan Stanton

Dear Mr. Stanton, The support you showed me in your kind words and open personality was reassuring. In a simple conversation you went from the Wall Street guru to a real person. A person who, in his own quiet way, is routing for me. I will push myself to succeed in one way or another. I have a rough draft of where I want to be in 5, 10, and 20 years. I don't know how I will get there, but mark my words I will!  I know this may be the 17th time, but thank you.

Charlotte McCarron


MVYLI Leadership Opportunities


MVYLI Entrepreneurship Workshop with Kassandra Castillo Cruz * October 13

MVYLI youth who aspire to become entrepreneurs were thrilled that Kassandra held a special workshop for them.  Kassandra is a successful 24-year-old entrepreneur and top fashion model in Puerto Rico who recently joined the Harvard Business School community.  This summer she inspired MVYLI youth at the Youth Leadership Summit with her life story and presentation on entrepreneurship.  Kassandra received her Business Marketing Degree from Inter American University in Puerto Rico, with a semester at Barcelona Business School. She is an alumni from the Institute's four-year bi-lingual demonstration project: Vieques Youth Leadership Initiative.



Jazz Musician Wynton Marsalis with  
Oshantay Waite,  
Future Performing Artist and Entrepreneur
Charlayne Hunter-Gault 
Lyne Pitts with MVYLI youth

Della Harmon Day with daughter Andrea Taylor & MVYLI youth


In honoring Della Hardman's many accomplishments, one is reminded of the role youth has in shaping an increasingly creative and progressive future. Savor the Moment, acts as a simple reminder of Mrs. Hardman's inexhaustible drive to encourage people to stay present and interact with the world around them, and facilitate positive change.  


December 14 & April 12




 MVYLI is pleased to announce that the Martha's Vineyard Charter School

has been approved to be the first test center on Martha's Vineyard.

We need a minimum of six students to conduct the ACT test.

ALL Vineyard youth are welcome.

By Popular Demand MVYLI Will Hold Its Second Common App Workshop * November

For seniors, this can be a very stressful time.  Some are applying for Early Admissions on November 1. Thanks to Newman's Own pizza and Vineyard Bottled Water drinks, MVYLI creates a stress-free and creative environment to help MVYLI seniors work on their Common App. At last month's workshop Galen Ryley met with youth to review their applications and answer questions.  "How do I know which activities to list?" or "How do I decide what is the most important activity to me?" "Should I include activities that I did in the 8th or 9th grade?" "What happens if I had a not so great grade sophomore year?"  It is impressive how much the seniors completed in such a short amount of time!

MVYLI's Upcoming Programs


Cultural Sustainability Project: Essay Contest, Middle School Presentations, Festival: November-May

Job Shadow Day: January 31, 2014

MVYLI 5th Annual Vineyard Youth Leadership Summit: June 21-27, 2014  

Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony: August 5, 2014 



Many Thanks to MVYLI Sponsors


MVYLI In-Kind Donors: Bertucci's, Enterprise Car, Falmouth, Newman's Own, Not Your Average Joe's Newburyport, Vineyard Bottled Water, Winnetu Oceanside Resort, Island Connection and Conway Family Foundation.

Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony 2013 Donors: Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz, Karen and David Brush, John Connor, Rhona and Donald Friedman, Judge Shelli and Joseph Hayes, Julie Flanders, Caryl Johnson and Kay Aikin, John and Charlotte Klein, Pandora's Box, Susan and Dan Plaine, Brad Paul Polley, Jennifer and Scott Soros, Kathy and Bruce Stuart.

With special thanks to the Hermann Foundation and The Riverbend Fund.


Thank you for the tasty dinner. Bertucci's is one of my favorite restaurants.

My spinach pasta dish was delicious. We really appreciate your support for MVYLI youth.


The Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative is a project of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization founded on Martha's Vineyard in 1997.
Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative *