OUR JOURNEYYep, and we are proud !

Learning all about STEM

Students practicing their civil engineering skills during the “Tower Build” team...

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Discovery

IYLF students had the opportunity to learn from experts and innovators...

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Play-ing Around

Touring the Connor Palace theatre at Playhouse Square Center, Cleveland.

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Bon Apétit!

Chef Gerry Grim of Edwin’s Leadership & Restaurant Institute teaching students...

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We Mean Business

Students presenting their business plans to a panel of local business...

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Reflections

Student journaling after a day of new adventures and experiences. ...

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Kudos for IYLF!

"I have had the pleasure of partnering with IYLF this summer and fall. The program has given our youth opportunities to explore the world right in our own city. They have learned so much about leadership, team building, self awareness, and have been exposed to so many different cultures. The youth are so excited to be apart of such a wonderful program" -Malvina R. Coordinator of Youth Programs, Merrick House West

Welcome Fall!

Cider tasting at Patterson Fruit Farm's Fall Fun Fest

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Working Together

Students exploring team dynamics as they work together to accomplish group...

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The Vineyards of Château Hough

Students lend a hand in the vineyard while learning all about...

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“We can change the world!”

Students hard at work on their solution based community interventions for...

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International Cleveland!

Students explore international culture at the Cleveland Museum of Art

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Farm to Table Fresh

Students shop for produce and sample some of the freshest foods...

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Parent Perspectives

"The IYLF has impacted John's life in an extraordinary way. He has thought of different careers he can seek for his future. It has given him new experiences and great opportunities from a low income poverty based community. He is such an intelligent young man who needed a positive outlet to allow him to be his special self. I appreciate the program and the excellent dedicated people who sought out a plan to give these children hope of being successful in life. I love what it's done for John pertaining to elevating his thinking to reach past any expectations and achieve his goals." -Shamir R, mother of student John R.

About Us

The mission of the International Youth Leadership Foundation is to posture highly motivated students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to be thought leaders and innovators in their future careers of choice. We plan to accomplish this through domestic and international programs that focus on career enrichment, cultural awareness, and globally conscious leadership. With our international focus, we plan to expose students to new cultures and destinations as well as aid in their development into globally competent citizens who are prepared to work across cultures to advance the global community.

Experience, travel- these are an education in themselves. -Euripides

Melinda Jackson

Melinda Jackson

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 Williams

Laura Williams

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 Fall

Alassane Fall

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 Hale

Angela Hale

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 Hudson

Tosha Hudson

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.

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