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Building a safe space for all.

At NYLC, we firmly believe in education equity: fairness, inclusion, and opportunity in education for all. Youth4Education is a youth-led movement to advance education equity through service-learning.

Our mission statement:

Youth4Education™ is a program dedicated to improving school climate by creating safe spaces for vulnerable discussion and turning that discussion into meaningful change through positive youth adult partnerships.

How it works

Young people and their adult allies join together to raise awareness on issues of education equity in their schools and community. Lead Activists form Youth4Education clubs that cultivate action. NYLC staff and Youth Advisory Council members provide support and a network for the clubs from across the country and around the world. Some students will have the opportunity to attend NYLT, a social justice-focused training camp powering a generation of leaders.

Why we do it

To create a safe place for vulnerable discussion: Students and a their adult allies need a place where they can share their own experiences, allow for personal growth and understanding of the effects of education inequity, and share their perspectives in a way that values everyone's voice and ensures they can do so bravely.

To turn discussion into action: Students will help their friends and family understand the issues that are important to them. They will receive the tools and guidance required to sit at the table with their school administration to discuss issues important to them and create a plan of action to make positive change.

To develop positive youth-adult partnerships: Students and adults will learn to interact with each other as equal partners with a shared vision for education equity.

To improve school climate: Students will bridge gaps between each other, their teachers, and their administration - whether racial, economic, or otherwise. They will work to have education recognized as a two-way process.

How to get involved:





Become a Lead Activist. Youth4Ed Lead Activists receive support from NYLC throughout the year as they develop a service-learning project centered around education equity. Lead Activists are expected to serve a one-year term, spearheading education equity in their communities with the support of an Adult Sponsor. Over the course of this year, Lead Activists will partake in professional development hosted by and report quarterly to the NYLC Youth Advisory Council.

Apply Today! Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

    Adult Sponsors. Adult Sponsors are teachers, counselors, or community leaders who are passionate about education equity and willing to support a youth Lead Activist. Read more at the Service-Learning Resource Center.




Join the Youth Advisory Council. The YAC is a group of young servant-leaders that are the visioning force behind Youth4Education. They advise NYLC on the direction of the campaign. YAC members provide professional development and planning support for Lead Activists. They also receive funding for transportation to the National Service-Learning Conference and serve as NYLC representatives at the conference. Each YAC term lasts two years; the current cohort has served since 2019 and will continue until 2021.

NYLC has announced the 2020 Youth4Education Lead Activists! Learn more here.

For more information, or to inquire about forming a Youth4Education group of your own, contact NYLC at

For more resources on addressing education inequity, check out our handbooks Smart. Youth Solutions to the Achievement Gap and Education Equity: A Service-Learning Handbook for Afterschool Programs.

In addition, check out these great videos that accompany SMART. Youth Solutions to the Achievement Gap: