Summer Youth Institute
The Summer Youth Institute is a curated learning experience for rising sophomore and junior high school students who are Mississippi residents.
SYI develops leadership, self-awareness, and community appreciation in students who desire to make an impact. Students participate in themed workshops where they:
- Learn the importance of relationship-building;
- Internalize the value of using their voices;
- Learn the significance of social and personal mindfulness and civic engagement.
Summer Youth Institute Application Process
- SYI applications are released online each spring. Applicants will be asked to provide an essay as part of the application.
- Fifty students are selected for phone interviews in groups of five to seven. Interviews focus on expectations for SYI and any clarifications about applications.
- Twenty-eight participants are selected, along with eight to ten alternates
- The #1 quality we look for in an applicant is enthusiasm! Passion for making positive changes in your community, for learning new skills, and forming new friendships are important for SYI participants.
- Young adults, college grads, grad students, and educators (usually between ages 22-30) who will serve as a role model and confidante for SYI students
- Experience working with culturally and/or socio-economically diverse young people
- Solid knowledge base of U.S. racial history, civil rights and human rights history, and anti-oppression/anti-racist frameworks
- From diverse backgrounds and experiences; we’ve had Mentors from Mississippi to South Africa, Columbia University to the University of Washington
- Passionate about helping young people realize their potential. Highly motivated, patient, and energetic. Model appropriate and respectful behavior, while maintaining a very high level of professionalism.
- The Summer Youth Institute grew out of a group of University of Mississippi students who wanted to help nurture Mississippi’s next generation of leaders.
- That diverse group of young visionaries sought to develop an experience for younger Mississippians to learn to lead with equity, justice, history, and possibility in mind.
- Their vision, supported by the (then) Winter Institute and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, resulted in the first summer training in 2010.
- Every summer since, a new cohort of participants has experienced the Summer Youth Institute.