Essential Elements

4 Pillars Curriculum

Essential Elements Graphic

The ultimate goal of GYLI is to take our understanding of community and personal mission and to transfer it to our schools and the communities where we live.  By working together, we hope to see our models of understanding take hold and grow.

Within GYLI our program elements of collaborative leadership, environmental sustainability, multicultural understanding, and religious pluralism have become essential pillars of all of our programs.  These pillars are vital to the experiences of our participants because they focus ideas that are of the utmost importance for our world today.  Each of our programs includes activities that deliver on aspects of these pillars, and by including them we seek to have participants confront and constructively address challenging issues.

To learn more about how each pillar is woven into our programs and enacted within GYLI, please click below:

Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative Leadership: Co-learning, and co-creating based on community, partnership, and input from all stakeholders.  It is a constructive process based on multiple perspective thinking and acting, where shared visions are built in a common space, and success is celebrated together.

The 7 Qualities of a Collaborative Leader

1. Builds a shared vision.
2. Shares common space with others.
3. Engages in multi-perspective thinking and action.
4. Empowers others and allows others to empower themselves.
5. Behaves ethically to influence others positively.
6. Acts with Awareness of Leadership Styles
7. Celebrates successful collaborations.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental SustainabilityThrough close contact with nature and critical examination of models of sustainability, development of a deep connection and responsibility to the natural world, and a holistic understanding of how to protect, restore, and live within the means of nature.

GYLI’s concept of Environmental Sustainability is rooted in the philosophy and methods of many who have come before us to enlighten the world and create a path towards greater understanding.  The work of the Center for Ecoliteracy’s, Smart by Nature© – 4 principles is an example of those who have influenced GYLI and whose ideas are present in our programs:

  • Nature is our teacher
  • Sustainability is common practice
  • The real world is the optimal learning environment
  • Sustainable living is rooted in a deep knowledge of place

Religious Pluralism

Religious Pluralism: The understanding of other religions from the perspective of its followers, respecting their truth and recognizing their value to our community.  Through constructive dialogue and active engagement, people of different faith backgrounds find common ground upon which to build strong communities.

Multicultural Identity

Multicultural Identity: The sharing, understanding, acceptance, and promotion of multiple identities – based on color, culture, class, character, and context – and the common characteristics that unite us within a community

Leader Learning Plan (LLP)

On unique aspect of all GYLI programs is the “LLP” which transfers learning to real projects in communities and schools.

The LLP has four parts:

1. Vision

2. Goals

3. Strategies

4. Resources

 The LLP is a commitment to action to ensure that the GYLI learning continues beyond the institute. By undertaking an LLP, participants develop their leadership skills in their communities.

GYLI coordinators assist participants during institute to develop and present their LLP ideas so they can leave with the vision for their project already well established. During the following school year, students work in conjunction with the faculty participants from their school to shape and implement their plans.

Within GYLI, we believe that our youth are leaders NOW, and LLP projects are not mere exercises or activities, but the framework for how our communities will move forward.

To learn more and get a packet of past LLPs, contact the GYLI office