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Youth to Leaders
Lead. Love. Save. Serve.

Tavis Smiley Foundation

National Youth Advisory Council



Tavis Smiley Foundation
Since its inception . . .

More than 6,000 youth ages 13 to 18 have participated in the Foundation's leadership training workshops and conferences.


Lead. Love. Save. Serve.

You can't lead the people unless you love the people.
You can't save the people unless you serve the people.


Youth Action

The mission of the Tavis Smiley Foundation is to enlighten, encourage and empower youth by providing leadership training that will promote and enhance the quality of life for themselves, their communities and our world.

Our programs focus on helping young people identify the skills, strengths, and talents that make them a unique leader and then how to apply those skills to become catalysts for positive social change.


Leadership and Service

The philosophy of our program is based on our definition of leadership: "You can't lead the people if you don't love the people. You can't save the people if you won't serve the people." The core component of Youth to Leaders programs are: LEAD. LOVE. SAVE. SERVE.

LEAD. LOVE: The curriculum is designed to stimulate young people's critical thinking skills, strengthen their leadership skills, and bolster their self-confidence and self-esteem and relationships to others.

SAVE. SERVE: The curriculum encourages youth to become sevant leaders. Youth generate ides for their own service-learning projects to address the most pressing issues facing their communities including but not limited to gang violence, education healthcare, and environmental problems.

Tool for Success

As a young leader or a mentor to an individual or group of young leaders, you have an opportunity to make a positive and powerful impact on the world. Whether you begin as a concerned individual or a team, this guide will walk you through the steps to plan and implement your change strategy. Use to move from recognizing the issues that affect your communit to coordinating efforts that will make a difference.

The guide is designed to give you the tools you need to achieve the following goals:

  • Clearly define the issue you want to impact.
  • Select a strategy that will work for you.
  • Get others to work with you effectively.
  • Create a plan to stay focused and motivated.
  • Manage resources to achieve your objectives.
  • Use the media to get your message to others.
  • Track your progress.
  • Learn from your successes and mistakes.


Empowering today's youth for tomorrow