Leadership Development

Global Young Innovators Initiative: Impact Through Leadership

Now Enrolling for 2016!


Experience global change first hand

Global Young Innovators Initiative: Impact Through Leadership (GYII) videoYour chance to transform the world starts here. At the Global Young Innovators Initiative: Impact Through Leadership (GYII), you’ll serve as a real-life international business consultant for a small business in Nigeria. Along with a mentor and a team of other students, you’ll collaborate via Skype with a local Nigerian business owner to develop creative and sustainable solutions to the challenges their business or community faces.

Past students have improved water purification systems, combated computer illiteracy, helped start and support small business, and designed educational programs – all while honing the skills needed to lead the next generation of creative problem solvers and innovative thinkers.

This unique six-day Summit is held  in partnership with Leadership Initiatives, a US-based non-profit that approaches the problem of underdevelopment by empowering communities to address their own needs through education and local financing.

By completing this program, you are eligible to receive college credit from George Mason University.

Activities & Benefits

Are you ready to take your leadership skills to the next level, transform your world and build partnerships that will last a lifetime? At the Global Young Innovators Initiative, you will:

  • Join other bright young minds to collaborate with a Nigerian business owner via Skype to solve the challenges that face their business. You’ll consider the problem, research answers, help develop a sustainable solution and assist in the project implementation.
  • Get real-world skill training in workshops led by experts in areas such as ideation, networking, social media, communication, conflict resolution, self-promotion and internships.
  • Explore design, technology, sustainability and ethics through comprehensive case studies covering topics such as gel fuel production in Ghana, fish farming in Nigeria and the high-tech world of alternative vehicle design.
  • Attend interactive workshops on current global issues, such as failing states, cybersecurity and human rights, presented by leading experts in the field.
  • Prepare for college life with a look at everything from how to select an academic major, to how to determine what schools are a good match for you, to what to expect after you’ve arrived.
  • Visit the campuses of some of the most prestigious universities in the nation.
  • Have the opportunity to be selected to join Leadership Initiatives’ International Business Alliance Program (IBAP), a highly-competitive mentorship program where you’ll spend 18 months helping to create or expand a business in a developing country via Skype and email. IBAP members also receive college search and application assistance, college recommendations, free online SAT prep courses from TotalSATPrep and scholarship application assistance.

Notice: This program is not owned, controlled or supervised by Harvard University or any of its schools or programs.



Leadership Initiatives logo

Learn more about the Leadership Initiatives Innovation Simulation.



    Alumni of the Global Young Innovators Initiative go on to be leaders for change in the world, no matter what they do. Meet our Alumni


George Mason University logo

Find out why college credit is important for you. Learn More


Anna & Sani

Past student project: Anna and her team partnered with Sani, the owner of the Birshi Fish Farming Group, to meet the challenge of providing affordable, nutritious food to his community. After learning about the major developmental issues facing Sani’s business, the team researched solutions and helped Sani discover how to make homemade feed to improve the nutrients of the fish, to reuse the dead fish to feed crops and to better understand and manage the financial aspect of his business.

Learn more about Anna & Sani’s Fish Farming Project.

Carrie & Abdulhadi

Past student project: Carrie and her team partnered with Abdulhadi, the owner of a local tailoring business, to expand his customer base so that he can give his employees a higher income and contribute to the growth of his community. The team helped tackle three major development issues for this local business by helping Abdulhadi create a new logo, advertising plan and rates to attract more customers, develop unique designs for the outfits he makes, and gain new accounting and financial skills.

Learn more about Carrie & Abdulhadi’s Tailoring Project .

Korben & Hamza

Past student project: Korben and his team partnered with Hamza, the owner of Hamza Welders, to grow his business and decrease unemployment levels in his local town where the poverty level is high, and the employment levels are low. To help Hazma grow his business, the team will help him learn new advertising skills to enlarge his customer base, build products that will make the business more competitive, and create additional financial management plans and skills training courses.

Learn more about Korben & Hamza’s Welding Project

2016 Dates & Locations

Harvard University
Boston, MA
Harvard University
  • Jun 13 - Jun 18
  • Jun 20 - Jun 25

Notice: This program is not owned, controlled or supervised by Harvard University or any of its schools or programs.

Summer Medical Program for High School Students - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
University of California
  • Jul 11 - Jul 16
Summer Medical Program for High School Students - Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, GA
Emory University
  • Jul 23 - Jul 28
Summer Business Programs for High School Students - Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL
The University of Chicago
  • Aug 1 - Aug 6

Tuition & Financial Assistance


Your Global Young Innovators Initiative tuition is an investment in personal growth and critical skill development that will prepare you for college and career success.

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Envision offers a limited number of scholarships to qualified students each year based upon financial need, scholastic merit, leadership achievements and other factors.

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Let us show you how other students use fundraising to cover some or all of their tuition costs. Make fundraising part of your Global Young Innovators Initiative personal success story.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Program Eligibility & Nomination

Is the Global Young Innovators Initiative program for me?

The Global Young Innovators Initiative is right for you if you are a high school student, in grades 9-12 during the 2015-2016 academic year, and you are ready to take the next step in your leadership development. GYII is your springboard to leadership roles on a global scale.

What happens after I enroll?

After you enroll, you will receive an enrollment confirmation email. A personalized URL will be created for you – your MyEnvisionExperience.com page – where you can find important program updates, the Mandatory Travel Form, the Student Information Form, a travel checklist, pre-conference assignments and a press release you can use to notify local media about your participation in this prestigious program. You will receive notification in the mail and via email with details about how to access your MyEnvisionExperience.com page.

What happens if the program is full? Is there a wait list?

The Global Young Innovators Initiative is a very popular summer program, and the allotted spaces for each session fill quickly. If your preferred session is full, we encourage you to choose another session. You may also request to be put on the wait list. However, due to the popularity of the program, there is no guarantee that space will become available if you choose the wait list option. It is best to enroll in an available session to guarantee your spot for this exciting experience.

Can I see a schedule of program activities?

Yes. You may view the most current Global Young Innovators Initiative sample schedule. The sample schedule demonstrates the kinds of development activities you will be participating in. Schedules, activities and speakers are constantly evolving, so please keep in mind that your actual schedule could change.

What is the dress code for this program?

Program staff will advise students of the appropriate attire for each day’s activities which will be one of the following type of outfits. 

Professional Attire

Women:  Includes suits (skirts or pants), dresses, coordinated skirts of at least fingertip length or dress slacks and blouses/sweaters.  Shoulders must be covered at all times with a jacket or sweater.   Professional, closed-toe dress shoes are required for some site visits.  Heels are not recommended.  
Men:  Includes suits or dress pants, dress shirts and ties with a sport coat.  A sweater or vest over shirt and tie may be worn, but a sport coat or suit jacket is required at all times.  Professional, closed-toe dress shoes are required.

Relaxed Professional Attire
Women:  Includes suits (skirts or pants), dresses, coordinated skirts of at least fingertip length or dress slacks and blouses/sweaters.  Shoulders must be covered at all times with a jacket or sweater.  Women may wear loafers, flats, dress sandals or professional open-toed shoes.  Heels are not recommended.
Men:  Includes polo shirts, button down shirts, golf shirts, sweaters, khaki pants and loafers.  Dress shoes or loafers are required.

Casual Attire
Women:  Includes jeans in good condition, non-athletic shorts of at least fingertip length, Capri pants, skirts, knit shirts, program apparel, sneakers and sandals.  Shoulders must be covered at all times with a jacket or sweater.  Casual, comfortable walking shoes (such as Toms), athletic shoes, or sandals are acceptable 
Men:  Includes non-athletic shorts, cargo shorts/pants or jeans in good condition, sweatshirts, T-shirts, program apparel.  Casual, comfortable walking shoes (such as Toms), athletic shoes, or sandals are acceptable.  

For more detailed information about the dress code for this program, visit your MyEnvisionExperience.com personal Web page, which will be available to you after you enroll.

What is the code of conduct for this program?

Attending an Envision Global Forum program is fun, but it is also an honor. Like all meaningful experiences, you will get out of it what you put in to your time spent at this exciting summer conference. You are expected to conduct yourself as a responsible leader as you represent your school and community. You must abide by the Student Code of Conduct. You must also abide by and uphold all program rules.

What is the enrollment deadline date?

The deadline date is the date that enrollment closes for GYII. It is important to note, however, that you enroll on a first-come, first-served basis. Since program space is limited, it is wise to enroll early for this popular summer program.

Organization & Affiliations

Who is Envision?

Envision Experience Envision is a leading experiential education organization dedicated to enabling students of all ages explore their interests and gain critical learning experiences beyond the classroom. Envision merged with LeadAmerica in 2012 to provide a comprehensive offering of programs to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in the competitive 21st century. See About Envision for more detailed information about Envision, its history of successful educational programs, its leadership and its partners.

All Envision programs are designed to align with Common Core State Standards and other national standards for education. See what others are saying about their Envision program experiences.

How is Envision funded?

Envision is a tuition-based, self-supporting organization, with many students securing financial support from local business, civic, community and leadership organizations. Scholarship funds are also available for qualified nominees. Learn more about scholarships and fundraising opportunities.

Is Envision affiliated with a political party or the U.S. government?

No. Envision is a nonpartisan educational organization.

Tuition & Financial Assistance

What is included in tuition?

Your tuition for the Global Young Innovators Initiative includes a full schedule of classes, briefings, lectures and simulations, a personalized Certificate of Completion, housing accommodations at a university or college dormitory, all on-campus meals, transportation as needed for off-site activities, site visits, events, and program faculty and on-site staff for supervision.

Your transportation, however, to and from the program location is NOT included in tuition. While attending the program, you will only need money for off-campus meals, souvenirs, snacks and other incidentals.

How do I apply for a scholarship or financial assistance?

You can visit the Envision scholarships page for more information. We are proud to offer a limited number of scholarships to eligible students, opening the door to young leaders from a variety of backgrounds. You should also know that many students fundraise to pay for most or all of their tuition costs. See the fundraising page for more information.

What happens if there are no spaces available by the time I am able to accrue the full tuition amount by fundraising?

If you intend to fundraise to raise program tuition, we encourage you to enroll using our convenient payment plan. That way you will make sure you have safely secured your space in the program. It is always a good idea to contact our Office of Admissions once you begin your fundraising campaign

How will I be notified about my scholarship application?

You can expect to be notified by email. This usually happens about two weeks after the scholarship deadline date has passed. If you do not provide an operable email address, you will receive notification by mail approximately three weeks after the scholarship deadline date has passed. The scholarship deadline date can be found on the scholarships page.

Safety & Supervision

How will I be supervised?

Your safety and well-being during the conference is our highest priority. The program is structured so that you will reside in a safe, controlled campus environment. Let your parents know that you will be closely supervised by a professionally trained staff, including faculty advisors, who serve as educational facilitators and chaperones, security personnel, operations personnel and a program director.

For more than 25 years, Envision has achieved a stellar record of safely and successfully enriching the lives of students, providing them with superb educational experiences and professional supervision. Other Envision safety measures include:

  • Greeting students at the designated airport and providing transportation to the conference site.
  • Providing transportation from the conference site to the airport at the conclusion of the program.
  • Maintaining a student-to-staff ratio of 17-to-1.
  • Providing single-sex rooms and single-sex floors.
  • Requiring all students to attend all activities.
  • Checking rooms nightly and ensuring that students remain in their rooms.
  • Employing night monitors to support students who may become ill or have an emergency during the night.
  • Equipping all staff members with two-way communication devices.

Travel & Accommodations

Where will I stay?

For the summer 2016 Global Young Innovators Initiative, you have the choice of four exciting campus locations, including Harvard University in Boston, MA, the University of California, Los Angeles, Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL. In each location, you will reside on campus during the program.

Do I have to share a room?

Each room will house between one and three students. You will have your own bed.

Can I request a roommate?

Roommate requests are not accepted. You will be randomly assigned a room prior to your arrival day. We believe that one of the important benefits of this program is the opportunity for you to network with others and get to know peers from different parts of the country.

Can my parents attend the program?

No. Your parents or guardians are not allowed to accompany you during the program. Gaining independence, including experiencing new things on your own, is an essential part of your growth during the program. However, it is perfectly fine for your family to travel with you to the program location and stay in the area while you are attending the program.

Can I attend if I am a student with special needs?

Yes. If you are a student with special needs or with disabilities, we encourage you to enroll. We may be able to provide you with auxiliary aids and services to assist you. Please call our Office of Admissions for more information or to discuss your particular needs prior to enrolling in the program.

Do I need to make my own flight arrangements?

Yes. Your tuition does not include transportation to and from your home and the program location. We recommend that you make necessary flight arrangements only AFTER you receive confirmation that you are officially enrolled.

Who will meet me at the airport?

Envision staff will be at the designated airports to assist you with your arrival and departure. We also provide shuttle service to you from designated airports and program sites on the first and last days of your program. The shuttle service fee is $35 each way or $70 round-trip.

Note: More details about the designated airport, arrival and departure windows and the airport shuttle service will be provided to you on your personal MyEnvisionExperience.com Web page after you enroll in the program.

What is the Tuition and Travel Protection Plan?

To protect and safeguard the investment that you and your parents make in travel and tuition costs, we strongly recommend that your parents take advantage of our Tuition and Travel Protection Plan. This plan is offered through Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. You may purchase this cancellation insurance when you enroll. You may also select this option when you complete the Mandatory Travel Form on your personalized MyEnvisionExperience.com page after enrollment. If your parents would like more specifics about the Tuition and Travel Protection Plan, please have them call the plan administrator, Nationwide, at (866) 282-3987.

Academic Preparation

What is the pre-conference assignment, FUEL?

The first step of your leadership journey includes assessing your strengths and opportunities for growth. To aid in this assessment, you must complete a brief pre-program assignment entitled Feedback for Understanding Emerging Leaders (FUEL).

The FUEL assignment will be available on your personal MyEnvisionExperience.com web page after you enroll. It simply requires that you choose five mentors – teachers, coaches, youth group leaders or other trusted adults – to complete a short survey about your leadership strengths. You also will complete a short self-assessment as part of the FUEL assignment.

When is the deadline to submit my FUEL form? Is the assignment mandatory?

Please make sure you complete the assignment no later than one week prior to arrival. You will be able to see the results on the first day of the program. 
The FUEL assignment will be available on your child’s MyEnvisionExperience.com personal Web page after you enroll.


Can special dietary needs be met?

Vegetarian options are always available. Kosher and Halal meals can be made available to you, provided the request is submitted prior to the start of the conference. When you complete the Student Information Form, you will have the opportunity to make special dietary requests.

What if I lose something or forget to bring a personal item home after the program?

All lost and found items are retained by the program staff for two weeks following the conference. Items of higher monetary value are retained for 30 days. After 30 days, all items remaining are discarded or donated. Contact the Office of Admissions for assistance.

My question is not listed.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Admissions.