MVYLI's Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development * 2014

The Institute's 10th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development was dedicated to oceans.  It was an honor for the Institute to attend Secretary Kerry's Our Oceans Conference with world leaders in Washington D.C.
Our future depends on the ability of your generation to recognize the imminent need for sustainable development across all fronts.  We need as many voices as possible, contributing solutions that will make a difference.  I support your voices to be heard!  Our task is a difficult one, but with young, inspired leaders like you, willing to lead the fight, I have no doubt we will prevail. 
Secretary John Kerry's Message to Summit Youth Delegates 
For this Summit youth delegates from Martha's Vineyard and Lana'i, Hawaii were joined with alumni from all the Institute's five island youth leadership initiatives.  From VYLI (Vieques, Puerto Rico) Alumni Kassandra Castillo, now with a Business/Fashion Industry start-up in New York City to MVYLI Alumni Shawna Brown, a psychology major at Washington Adventist College.  From SHYLI-Hawaiian emerging leader Makana Tavares, now a Brown University cultural anthropology major to SHYLI-Lana'i emerging leader Lucy Gaceta, Pulama Lana'i's Nursery to VGYLI founding member, Feliza Fenty who is now Public Affairs Director for Ministry of Natural Resources of the British Virgin Islands.  The common thread between all our islands is the ocean.  Islands are a microcosm for the planet -- "the canary in the coal mine" - on the front line of climate change and global economy. We are united in the question: "How might we build a more sustainable island and ocean world?" 
During this weeklong intensive training, youth (ages 14-18) envision and develop action plans to realize their dreams for their lives, their islands, and the world.  This year's Vineyard youth delegates aspire to become teachers, social workers and psychiatrists; small business owners and fashion marketers; lawyers, doctors and surgeons in the Air Force and engineers and commercial airline pilots.  Thanks to the inspiring presentations they learn about best practices from other islands and develop Sustainability-In-Action Projects to help their islands.  From June 21-27 a 1800s house on West Chop and beach on Vineyard Sound was transformed to a dynamic learning center with lively young people putting their dreams into action.  Youth were first inspired by the Sustainable Vineyard Tour and then by local, national and global ocean leaders - to develop their Ocean Sustainability-In Action Projects for the coming year. 
Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony & Reception: August 5 * RSVP 
MVYLI is a program of Stone Soup Leadership Institute,  
a 501�3 organization founded in 1997.

Sustainable Vineyard Tour
 Each year the Summit begins with a Sustainable Vineyard Tour, where youth delegates travel to meet Island leaders and see sustainability initiatives.  We start with a reflective walk on Lucy Vincent Beach where youth find special stones and design a beach mural to represent the ocean.  They witnessed first hand the coastal erosion of this precious beach.  On Saturday, Wampanoag entrepreneur and newly elected selectman, Juli Vanderhoop at Orange Peel Bakery shared her journey home; Keith Wilda at Thimble Farms shared his vision and progress for feeding Island school children and Nick Turner at Honeysuckle Oyster Farm shared his adventures. We learned about the important role oysters play on Martha's Vineyard - from reducing nitrogen, rebalancing acidification, cleaning the waters, replenishing nutrients, to renewing the fishing industry - and creating a sustainable entrepreneurship for Island residents.  "The Sustainable Vineyard Tour was a really great experience," said incoming senior Grant Santos. "We saw many places on this Island I didn't even know existed. It was really inspiring to speak to these leaders first hand."


Sunday was a spectacular day, highlighted by a private tour with Island legend Matthew Stockpole on the oldest surviving merchant vessel the Charles W. Morgan and a rowboat paddle around the Vineyard Harbor.  It was a special treat for Elise whose ancestor was the Charles W. Morgan's first Captain.  For our Opening Ceremonies Makana Tavares taught a Hawaiian chant; official letters were read by youth from their Governors and Senators; we welcomed our newest flags from the Marshall Islands and Israel; Rick Bausman inspired multi-cultural music and dancing.




What is My Dream for My Life?

Generation Waking Up! (from the Pachamama Alliance) shared their video for igniting young people to bring forth a thriving, just, sustainable world.  Greg Reinauer and Lauren Olean encouraged youth to think about what makes them come alive and how they want to define themselves as a generation. Institute of Design at Stanford

Ian Kitajima led a Design Thinking (DT) workshop to encourage delegates to think outside of the box; the power of understanding human centered design; creating and prototyping models to apply to challenges facing our Islands.  As the Senior Vice President at Hawaii's Corporate STEM Award Winning Oceanit and founder of Design Thinking Hawaii, Ian is a partner with the Institute's SHYLI's Design Sustainable Hawaii Forum.  Everyone was inspired by the video featuring youth leaders from three islands including Lanai's emerging leader, Lucy Gaceta using DT tools to develop their Sustainability-In-Action Projects. 


What is Your Professional Dream?
Youth delegates learned about what it takes to make dream come true by listening to two invigorating presentations by Marsha Reeves-Jews and Kassandra Castillo Cruz.  MVYLI founding member Shawna Brown shared how MVYLI impacted her life, expanded her horizons, and increased her ability to make good decisions. MVYLI Visioneers Lucie Dougherty-Soares and Taynara Goncalves shared about MVYLI College Prep, Field Trip Program. Kristine Hopkins and Lucy Norris spoke of their experiences with MVYLI's Job Shadow Day. Marcelle Alves and her mentor Rebecca McCarthy inspired everyone with their story.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with MVYLI youth over the past year. I'm impressed with each student's passion, professionalism and enthusiasm towards MVYLI's mission.  I was blown away by alumna Kassandra who through her life story motivated me to work harder and reevaluate my own professional goals. Marsha gave the youth such helpful and practical advice that many just don't hear these days.  MVYLI provides Island students with a unique platform to define their dreams while providing opportunities so they can realistically work towards fulfilling their goals.
Rebecca McCarthy, Attorney at Law
Professional Development Workgroups 
Each afternoon, youth delegates met in small groups to explore their career options with the Summit Faculty. They wove their skills and interests into a 5-year action plan: "What might your life look like in 2019?
Marsha Reeves-Jews 
International Development: Marika Viragh 
Business, Fashion/ Entrepreneurship: Kassandra Castillo
Environmental Science: Elise Quebec 
Psychology: Tammy Simpson and Shawna Brown
 Realizing Our Goal of Building Bridges With Seasonal Residents
The Institute hired three seasonal Vineyard residents as Summit Co-Directors.  Marika Viragh has summered on the Vineyard with her family for ten years.  After graduating from Colorado College and working in India for a year, she was eager to share her experience with Vineyard youth.  Tammy Simpson is a recent psychology graduate from UMass Amherst (and sister to MVYLI Alumni Shawna and Sivana Brown).  Elise Quebec is an environmental sciences/marketing major at UMass Amherst and life long seasonal resident who taught sailing at the East Chop Yacht Club.  Elise was honored to represent the Institute's youth leaders at Secretary Kerry's Our Oceans Conference.

Ocean Sustainability 
Elise Quebec's presentation, One Ocean highlighted innovative ocean solutions - from Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative to California Academy of Sciences Marine Expedition Highlights of Protected Areas; to the EPA's Halish Sea Ecosystem with Environmental Canada Pacific Yukon; to NOAA's Sustainable Fisheries Success Story to Project Catalyst in Queensland, Australia that reduced nutrient pollution in Great Barrier Reef by 60%!

Alexis Valauri-Orton was the youngest speaker at the Our Oceans Conference. Last year she traveled on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to Norway, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Peru to investigate stories of ocean acidification. Her stories included the booming scallop industry in Peru, the backbone of the region's economy. Alexis encouraged youth to incorporate "green thinking" into careers from social sciences, natural sciences to policy, advocacy, education; business, marketing, and finance. She works with Global Ocean Health and Ocean Conservancy. 
SHYLI-Lana'i youth delegate Emma de Brum presented Changing the Way We Think About Water on Islands. "Water shortages are common on islands - from the Marshall Islands to Lana'i where the stream Maunalei is now dry," she explained. "There are desalination plants in 120 countries, from Italy, India, Greece to Japan." Emma shared plans for the proposed Desal plant on Lana'i, adding it's an important contribution to sustainable agriculture. Brooklyn Bradford & Adriana Sanches presented Beach Sustainability. "Every year over 100 million marine animals are killed by debris," they said. "The 2011 Tsunami in Japan debris washes ashore on Lana'i and Hawaiian islands." Their Sustainability In-Action Project goal is to recruit 40-50 young volunteers to pick up trash once a month on their local beaches.
Feliza Fenty joined via skype from the British Virgin Islands. As a teenager with VGYLI, Feliza was reluctant to explore the coral reefs and see first hand the bleaching from increasing temperatures in the Caribbean. Now she realizes the importance on the future of her islands. Feliza is actively involved with the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and their upcoming conference on Samoa. 2014 is the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  
The Worldwide Voyaging Hokule'a crew member Jenna Ishi Google chatted with us while anchored in Tahiti. She shared her amazing experience using only a sextant and stars to navigate for this 3-year sailing journey around the world. The Polynesian Voyaging Society is committed to building upon ancient wisdom and modern technology, gathering stories of stewardship. Captain Nainoa Thompson promised his Vineyard cousin Sam Low, he would bring the Hokule'a to Martha's Vineyard in 2017.
Ocean Sustainability In-Action Project 
At each Summit, youth brainstorm ideas for projects for their islands. This year delegates will join together on Martha's Vineyard and Lana'I for an Ocean Sustainability-In-Action Project. Ava Thors, Katrina Lakis, Kristine Hopkins are MVYLI project coordinators, with joining forces with the Ocean Conservancy and International Coastal Cleanup Initiative on September 20.
Leadership Opportunities 
Marsha Reeves-Jews led an interactive Networking 101 Workshop to prepare delegates to share their dreams with those who could help to make them happen at the Institute's Annual Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony & Reception where MVYLI youth meet with seasonal residents who could support them with their dreams for their lives and the island. 
2014 Summit Youth Delegates
MVYLI - Caley Bennett, Olivia Green-Lingren, Samantha Hargy, Avery Hazell, Maisie Jarrell, Wyatt Jenkinson, Katrina Latkis, Benjamin Nadelstein, Grace Oslyn, Anna Reinthaler, Katherine Reid, Grant Santos, Oren Solomon Osnoss, Ava Thors, Tessa Whitaker 
MVYLI Visioneers - Marcelle Alves, Lucie Dougherty-Soares, Taynara Goncalves, Kristine Hopkins, Lucy Norris
SHYLI-Lanai - Brooklyn Bradford, Adriana Sanches, Emma de Brum with Emerging Leader: Lucy Gaceta.

Many Thanks to our Summit Sponsors
Budget Martha's Vineyard, Cronig's Market, Newman's Own, Tradewinds Airlines, Vineyard Harbor Hotel, 7A, Airport Mobil, Among the Flowers, Barnes Moving Company, Ben & Bill's, Bite on the Go, Cash & Carry, Coca Cola Bottling Co., DaRosa's, DeBettencourt's Service Station, Educomp, Fiddlehead Farms, Flatbread Company, Giordano's, Island Source, Island Transport, Larsen's, Menemsha Bite, Menemsha Fish Market, Morning Glory Farm, Net Result, Offshore Ale, Reliable Market, Scottish Bakehouse, Shirley's, Skinny's Fat Sandwiches, Smoke & Bones, Stop & Shop, Third World Trading, and Tisbury Farm Market.

Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative

P.O. Box 4551 * Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

[email protected] *