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About

Politics is a Good Thing!

The Youth Leadership Initiative at the University of Virginia Center for Politics is dedicated to increasing civic engagement by providing teachers with the best civics education materials and programs. Research shows that quality civics education programs are essential to creating lifelong citizenship and YLI programs empower students to take responsibility for our democracy.

In 1998 UVA professor and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato founded the Youth Leadership Initiative to combat the apathy and cynicism that he saw in his politics students. Professor Sabato believed that by creating quality civics education programs students would be energized to accept the responsibilities of citizenship and become lifelong participants in American democracy.

Activities such as the yearly Mock Election, E-Congress, Democracy Corps, and YLI lesson plans do more than just teach about civics and government. Each program is infused with simulations and hands-on projects that connect students with the political process.

The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) provides everything educators need to get their students in the game absolutely FREE of charge. There is no catch.

How to get started

Educators can sign up today FREE of charge. Upon registering educators will create a username and password that will access all of YLI’s resources and programs. E-mails will be sent to registered teachers periodically to remind them of upcoming events, new lesson plans and updated materials. If you are a student, community member, parent, or organization, see how you can bring the Youth Leadership Initiative to your school.

Our Partners

YLI is proud to partner with such like-minded organizations as:

Thank you for strengthening America’s democracy with the Youth Leadership Initiative!