On the heels of the Summer Youth Institute’s success, in 2012 the Winter Institute launched an annual three-day reconvening of SYI alumni. The reunion serves several purposes:
• Maintain the strength of a network of future Mississippi leaders
• Expand the curriculum of citizenry and community engagement ignited at SYI
• Refine the SYI curriculum based on the group’s feedback
• Strengthen the enduring effectiveness of SYI students’ community projects by establishing their own action plans and processes for evaluation and building momentum. Winter Institute staff also seeks to establish relationships where they can be supportive and resourceful to students along the way.
Summer Youth Institute 2.0 is emerging as great opportunity for our alumni to cross-pollinate and strengthen each other through discussions of their successes and opportunities back home. Students benefit from being in an emotionally and educationally safe space to brainstorm and build their knowledge bases and capacities to create the change they desire to see.