Mentorship & Leadership 

YOUth LEAdership Development (YOULEAD) 

Students socializing and playing a game at Richards Career Academy H.S.

The Social Justice Leadership Institute (SJLI) is a youth leadership development program for students 5th thru 12th grade. Participants meet on Saturday mornings at Richards Career Academy H.S. in the Back of the Yards.

The program empowers youth to be active in their own educational journeys and discover and pursue their passions and dreams by providing them with training, mentors, access to community resources, information about personal development, and opportunities to apply their skills to real life issues.

SJLI develops community leadership by engaging youth in community actions and events, including SJLI student council representation on the U.N.I.O.N. Impact Center monthly board meetings,

Students also develop their leadership skills and style by participating in college preparation exercises, educational field trips and playing sports & games. thus providing some autonomy for student-led and student-driven projects, Participants can also earn Service Learning/community service hours by joining the program. 

The Social Justice Leadership Institute is led by Dr. Rafael Yañez and volunteers who serve as mentors to help guide participants.  

If you are interested in joining the Social Justice Leadership Institute program or volunteering as a mentor with our organization click here for more information.