Leadership Opportunity For Holyoke Youth

The Sustainable Youth Leadership Initiative invites Holyoke students to develop leadership skills and give back to their community.


Former members of the Leadership Summit.

From June 24th to the 30th, 20 students  from Holyoke will travel to a summit on Martha’s Vineyard with all expenses paid as part of the Sustainable Holyoke Youth Leadership Initiative.

The Holyoke Youth Leadership is a chapter of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute which was founded on Martha’s Vineyard in 1997. The program is designed to help students foster the leadership skills needed to excel in a competitive world. The Institute has had success in other communities and now hopes to provide its services to Holyoke. Local officials including State Representative Aaron Vega and Mayor Alex Morse have expressed their support for the program.

“Their ability to expand job shadowing and mentoring opportunities along with the leadership retreat has great potential for many of our students,” said Representative Vega about the program. “I know that Stone Soup is looking to partner with many of the great organizations in the city to expand the needed outreach to our youth.”

At the summer summit on Martha’s Vineyard, the youth delegates take their knowledge, their hopes, dreams, and direct them towards making change happen. This weeklong Leadership training on Martha’s Vineyard helps students to envision their goals for the future and develop their “5-year plan.” Afterwards, they return to their community to engage in projects to help foster leadership skills and civic engagement.

The Executive Director of the Institute, Marianne Larned, wrote her book “Stone Soup For The World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes.” People that feature in her book consist of faculty for the Institute’s Youth Leadership Summit.
Barrios Unidos founder Nane Alejandrez will be at this year’s Summit.  Emerging Leaders from Vieques, Puerto Rico include Josue Cruz and Kassandra Castillo.
Larend believes the program has the potential to make “the young people of Holyoke will be the solution to our problems.”

If you’re an interested Holyoke student, you can find the application here.

Holyoke Youth are nominated by community organizations, schools, and other community organizations. Click here to nominate a Holyoke youth. Applications are due by April 15!

Bring completed applications to Mayor’s Offices, Rep. Vega’s Offices, the Holyoke Youth Commission, or Holyoke High.

Or by email the program directly: holyokeyouthleaders@gmail.com