Executive Director Letter
IYLF is Having a Great 2017! Dear Friends and Supporters of IYLF, It seems like just yesterday that myself, a couple of ded
The mission of the International Youth Leadership Foundation is to cultivate the next generation of culturally aware and socially responsible global leaders. Our innovative domestic and international programs posture highly motivated students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to be thought leaders and engaged world citizens. Our programs expose students to new cultures and destinations, while helping them develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and experiences that will prepare them to work across cultures to advance the global community.
Experience, travel- these are an education in themselves. -Euripides
Founder & Executive Director -Cleveland Area native Melinda Jackson received her B.A. from The Ohio State University in French Language and Literature. Upon completing her undergraduate studies, Melinda worked as an elementary school English teaching assistant in Clermont de l’Oise, Picardie, France, where she had the opportunity to fully immerse herself in the language and culture of France, while also exploring other countries. After her return to the United States, Melinda continued her tenure with the National Student Leadership Conference serving as the program director for Medicine and Healthcare at Northwestern University. In addition to her education and student leadership experience, Melinda spent 3-1/2 years in the private sector working for a national industrial supply distribution company where she served as a translator and cultural specialist on behalf of French speaking clientele. Melinda is passionate about social innovation, education, travel, and leadership, and is committed to empowering young scholars to reach their full potential.
Laura is a founding board member of The International Youth Leadership Foundation and a Cleveland native who hails from the Lee Harvard Community on the City’s East Side. She attended Cleveland Public Schools and later completed the college preparatory program at Hawken School. Laura is a graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, VA. Upon graduation, she worked in non-profit and commercial theater in New York. She served as a Company Manager for Broadway and Off-Broadway Shows and managed all aspects of the administrative, logistical, creative, and technical implementation of touring museum exhibitions in North America, Central/Latin America, and Europe. She is currently employed at Saint Martin de Porres High School as the Administrative Assistant to the President, and is an active member of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Hampton Alumni Association, Inc. and serves on the Executive Board of The Cleveland Council of Black Colleges Alumni Association.
Alassane is an Africa expert of politics, governance and leadership. A popular lecturer, he has presented programs in colleges and societies throughout the United States and has published in various topics related to Senegal, Canada, France, West Africa and more. He has been involved with the United Nations-Geneva, the Foreign Ministry of Senegal, the American Red Cross (NEO), the International Institute of Humanitarian Law-Italy, Kansas Correctional Facilities of Lansing and Topeka, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants of Ohio, and others. Alassane has also taught African Political History, Languages and culture at the University of Kansas, Lawrence and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as an Africanist. Alassane is originally from Senegal, West Africa. His passion for world affairs, leadership, cultural diversity, and love of teaching grew out of witnessing frequent misunderstandings and mischaracterization of the African continent. Alassane is a tremendous asset to our organization.
Angela is a founding board member, and board chair of International Youth Leadership Foundation. She has also held the position of board secretary. Angela is a registered nurse with over 25 years experience. She is a graduate of The University of Toledo, and is employed as a school nurse with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Angela enjoys working with and empowering others. In addition to her work with International Youth Leadership Foundation she tutors at her local community center, volunteers for a ministry that provides gently used clothing and household items to those in need, and co-hosts her neighborhood club meetings. When Angela is not working or volunteering she enjoys, gardening, travel, reading and cooking. Angela is excited to be part of International Youth Leadership Foundation and has witnessed first hand how the organization has had a positive life changing impact on its students.
Tosha A. Hudson is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. Professionally, she brings to the table 18 years of experience in Calibration/Testing Laboratory Services with roles in Quality and Project Management. Tosha holds a Master of Science in Quality Assurance from California State University Dominguez Hills. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Hampton University. Tosha is an International Youth Leadership Foundation board member and serves as President of the Cleveland Chapter and Midwest Region National Hampton Alumni Association. She is also a member of Faith Tabernacle United Holy Church. In order to stay sharp, Tosha tutors math and helps students prepare for college.