Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative's 
Youth Leadership Summit 
June 22-29, 2012
MVYLI Youth Leadership Summit 2012

Vineyard Youth Delegates
Avery Hazell
Charlie Pikor
Emma HallBilsback
Isabel Smith
Isabella El-Deiry
Isabelle Wadleigh
James Roddy
Julia Cooper
Lilly Neville
Lucy Norris
Marcanthony Piland
Maggie Riseborough
Allen Farm
Allen Farm
Allen Farm
Isabel Smith
Amira Lanere Madison
Josue and Kassandra
It was great to find no two
islands are alike, but both
are trying to obtain the same
goal. -- Charlie Pikor
It's about the young people of the Vineyard, their voices being heard by the leaders, their involvement in planning
for our future. They want to attract eco-tourists to experience the Island's beauty and fragility - and most importantly, about how together we can create a sustainable Martha's Vineyard for future generations.
So proud of all of you
taking a week out of your
summer to better
yourselves and the world!
-- Rebecca Conroy
I had a blast at the Youth
Leadership Summit. It was
awesome. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organization! -- Avery Hazell
The Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative held its 3rd annual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development. At this weeklong intensive leadership intensive Martha's Vineyard youth envision their personal, professional, island and planetary goals and create action plans for their lives and for sustainable projects.

The Youth Leadership Summit was a great experience! I got to meet so many new, wonderful people that helped me to realize my dreams for my life and my world. I can't wait to participate again next year! -- Mary Ollen

The Summit begins with a journey to Lucy Vincent Beach
where youth find their "magic stone" and create an ocean art design in support of's HandsAcross the Sand.

The Sustainable Vineyard Tour of sustainable agriculture, architecture, business, cultures, and energy -- from the Aquinnah Cultural Center, Allen Farm, Island Grown Schools, to the Island Co-Housing. MVYLI youth enjoyed kayaking with the Trustees of the Reservation at Cape Pogue and then eating pizza at Leslie and Winn Self's energy self-sufficient home.

This year's Summit was held on Lake Tashmoo in Vineyard Haven. The respected Wampanoag Quampechi had a dream where she saw her son, Tashmoo discover a beautiful, clear spring. For many days Tashmoon searched for the spring. Just when he was above to give up, he stopped to rest and saw the land sloped gently to a shore of a small lake whose blue waters sparkled in the sunlight. Today, Lake Tashmoo provides Vineyard Haven with its water supply. Experts say the water is "the purest in the world."
Selfs Kayaking

These Vineyard youth (ages 15-22) are nominated by non-profit organizations, schools and community leaders to serve as delegates. They aspire to become an editor, entrepreneur, economist, environmental law, environmental scientists, green engineer, computer scientist, farmer, small farm lobbyist, doctor, nurse, physical therapist, physician's assistant, criminal justice, college professor, special education/sign language teacher, and web designer.

The Youth Summit really helped me hone in on what it is that I want to accomplish and what field I want to work in the years that follow. I can honestly say I have a much clearer view of what to expect in the coming years thanks to MVYLI.
-- Isabel Smith

This year's Summit featured a Multicultural Opening Ceremony with Amira Lanere Madison (Wampanoag Tribe Gayhead-Aquinnah) and Vineyarder Sam Low who spoke about the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Hawaiian youth delegates performed a special welcoming ceremony.

It is inspiring to set goals for yourself and to pursue your dreams.  -- Lucy Norris

At the Summit they learned from our diverse faculty: Vineyard's sustainable leaders like Noli
Taylor. MVYLI youth Bella El-Deiry and Doris Clark spoke about MVYLI's College Prep & Field Trip Program and Job Shadow Day. The Stone Soup Leadership Institute's board Nane Alejandrez and Marsha Reeves-Jews shared their wisdom. Seasoned youth leaders from the Vieques Youth Leadership Initiative Josue Cruz and Kassandra Castillo shared their joy for realizing their goals and their passion for giving back.

Hawaiian Blessing The Hawaiian youth delegation shared an inspiring presentation
on sustainable initiatives on their island. Each day they also shared their language, dance and cultural blessings.

MVYLI co-founder Emma HallBilsback presented the Sustainable Vineyard 2020 Report that builds on the two-year Sustainable Vineyard Map Project in partnership with the Martha's Vineyard Commission.

During the Summit, they developed Sustainability-In-Action Plans for the coming year. MVYLI youth will organize a Hunger Awareness Week; coordinate a Multicultural Assembly at the MV High School; start an Amnesty International Club. They also created MVYLI's social media tools to stay connected with each other and to support them as they develop their projects. They created posters to inspire and remind themselves of their dreams for the lives, their Island and the world.

Bella El-Deiry
MakanaHunger Awareness


One of the highlights of the Summit was a skype videoconference with three teen girls with the
South Sudan Girls Empowerment Club. At the Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony, they presented their project to Nick Clooney. At the reception, they shared their dreams with our host Kim and Drew Conway's guests.

The Youth Leadership Summit is the cornerstone of MVYLI's year-round program including the College Prep & Field Trip Program and Job Shadow Day. MVYLI members serve as
representatives at the Governor's Youth Council, Cape & Islands Youth Congress, and the Bioneers-by-the-Bay Conference. Two MVYLI youth have been selected as Student of the Month. They make presentations at the MVRHS School Board meetings, at the NAACP Juneteenth Conference and other events. MVYLI partners with other Vineyard organizations for Martha's Vineyard Farmers' Roundtable. Last year MVYLI brought the first AmeriCorps team to support Island organizations. All programs are provided at no charge to Vineyard youth.
Official Messages from Massachusetts Leaders

This Summit provides you with a unique opportunity to discuss the challenges we face as a global community, share your ideas, and to start working together on possible solutions. With your collective talent and determination, I am certain that you can develop effective action plans for sustainable projects in your own communities and beyond. I am proud of all of you for taking an active role in the sustainability of our future. You give me great hope for our future.
Governor Deval Patrick

Sustainability is the rallying cry of your Summit, a word that carries greater meaning and weight. At heart it conveys an understanding to think beyond the immediate, use no more than can be replaced, make balance and harmony priorities, and build an economy that doesn't rely on exploitation of resources, or people. That's the big picture, and this week is about translating that vision into specifics, an exciting and crucial task.
State Senator Daniel Wolf

Much more needs to be done to preserve the vitality of our world. This Summit provides a unique opportunity to use your imagination and creativity in ways that will translate into real results. Your concerted efforts will help us overcome the challenges of today and with strong foresight we can find the solutions for tomorrow.
U.S. Senator John Kerry
MVYLI Would Like to Thank All Our Youth Leadership Summit Sponsors

Contributors: Airport Mobil, Alley's, Lynn Lilienthal, George Storer Foundation, Hermann Foundation

Major In-Kind Sponsors: Budget Martha's Vineyard, Cronig's Market, Island Transport, NetResult,

Newman's Own

In-Kind Sponsors: DaRosa's and Third World Trading Company

Food Sponsors: Among the Flowers, Biscuit's, Coca Cola Bottling, Flatbread's Pizza, Honest Tea, Island
Food Products, La Cave du Grenier, Menemsha Bite, Midnight Farm, Mocha Mott's, Morning Glory Farm, Newman's Own Organics, Seafood Shanty, Slice of Life, Smoke N Bones, Square Rigger
Stop & Shop, and Vineyard Bottled Water

Eco-Tourism Adventure Sponsors: Island Spirit, Tomahawk Charters, Trustees of the Reservation
Sustainable Vineyard Tour Hosts: Allen Farm, Aquinnah Cultural Center, Island Grown Schools, Island Co-Housing

Vineyard Speakers: Sam Low, Amira Madisen, Noli Taylor

Our MVYLI Team
Janelle Berneche, Doris Clark, Josue Cruz, Marianne Larned, Rebecca Rabeni, Naomi Scott, Siohban Smith

Our Videographer: Kristine Patnugot

Group at Lake Tashmoo

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

Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative
P.O. Box 4551, Vineyard Haven, MA 02567