Evidence of Collaboration

Evidence of Project Collaboration

The Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative was developed in 2009 in partnership with Vineyard community leaders.   At the heart of the Institute’s work is an inclusive community listening and planning process that builds strategic cross-cultural, multidisciplinary alliances and engages people to work together to address issues facing their youth. MVYLI has collaborated with schools and several organizations on Martha’s Vineyard.

MVYLI Case Study: Emma HallBilsback was first nominated by Sidney Morris Educational Director of The Farm Institute (TFI).  During the Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development, Emma worked with Sidney and Chris Siedel, cartographer at MV Commission to begin MVYLI’s Sustainable Vineyard Map Project.   For MVYLI’s Job Shadow Day 2011, Emma was matched with TFI’s Executive Director where she learned how they needed greater lobbying support for Vineyard farmers.  For MVYLI’s 2012 Job Shadow Day, Emma traveled to Boston to shadow Brad Mitchell, Massachusetts Federation for Small Farmers. They visited Senator Dan Wolff to express the Vineyard farmers concerns.  When Brad traveled to the Vineyard for MVYLI’s reception, Emma, MVYLI and TFI organized a Farmer’s Roundtable and invited ALL Vineyard farmers.  This Roundtable led to greater support from Boston, and catalyzed farmers to work together, including buying Thimble Farm (Island Grown Initiative) to provide healthy food to all the island’s children.  Emma incorporated her 2 years experience, prepared a report on Sustainable Agriculture for MVYLI Sustainable Vineyard 2020 and presented it at the Cronkite Awards 2012.   Emma received a MV Vision Fellows with a gap year in New Zealand and is now at Hampshire College.

Sustainable Vineyard Quest to visit and learn about innovative sustainable energy: Allen Farm, Aquinnah Cultural Center, Island Co-Housing, Wampanoag Tribe, Morning Glory Farm’s windmill, Trustees of the Reservation, Dot’s Dumptique, Edgartown Wastewater Treatment Plant, Hobknob Inn, solar sites like Steamship Authority and YMCA.

Whippoorwill Farms: Andrew Woodruff, served as faculty for the Youth Summit for Sustainable Development.

Martha’s Vineyard Commission: During the Youth Summit, Vineyard youth delegates created the first Sustainable Vineyard Map with the MV Commission’s top cartographer. This is the first step towards engaging youth in the Island Plan, which was developed over the last five years, but without youth involvement.

Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellows: Youth Leadership Summit presenters: Emma Green Beach, Shellfish Hatchery, Liz Baldwin, Felix Neck and Noli Hoye Taylor, Island Grown Schools.  Emma HallBilsback: 2012 MV Vision Fellows.

Governor’s Statewide Youth Council: MVYLI has collaborated with the Young Brothers to Men and the Young Sisters program to nominate outstanding youth to serve on this prestigious two-year program.

MVYLI brought the first team of AmeriCorps NCCC members to Martha’s Vineyard to work on projects with Island partners: Island Grown Schools; Whippoorwill Farm; Baylor Norton Farms, Island Cohousing;Native Earth Teaching Farm; BiodiversityWorks; The Trustees of the Reservations.

Martha’s Vineyard Farmer’s Roundtable was coordinated in partnership with MVYLI co-founder Emma HallBilsaback, The Farm Institute and the Massachusetts Farm Bureau to bring some of the 42 farmers together to have better Island representation of their needs and concerns to state legislators.

MVYLI Job Shadow Day matches Vineyard youth with businesses: Cape Air, Pat Gregory, Educomp, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Rose Styron, Amnesty International, Wynton Marsalis, Lincoln Center Performing Arts Center, Dr. John Lamb, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Dr. Melanie Miller, Vineyard Pediatrics, Len Morris, Galen Films, Karen Krowski, Psychologist, Bret Stearn, Natural Resource, Wampanoag Tribe, Barbara MacDonald, South Boston Neighborhood Housing, Boston, John Klein, Polarex, Rebecca McCarthy, Immigration Lawyer, Ed Merck, Author, college professor, Norman Hall, Hall International LLC Film-Truth Productions, Edgartown Police Department, Grey Barn Farm, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week, Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Operating Room, Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, Nelson Mechanical Engineering Design, Oracle software writer, Pricewaterhouse Cooper: Boston, South Mountain Company, The Farm Institute, The Harbor View Hotel, U.S. Senator John Kerry’s Communications Director: Boston, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Office Manager: Boston, Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Jonathan Blum, Yum! Brands, Jim McKenna, Bears Stearns, Kate Putnam, Putnam Investments, Dan Stanton, Goldman Sachs, Dr. Jim Wolff, Boston University and the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce.   

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Guidance Department: Guidance Counselors nominate students to serve as youth delegates to the MVYLI Youth Leadership Summit. The MVYLI College Prep & Field Trip helps students especially those who are first in their family to attend college and to reduce drop out risk of college freshmen.  It is a great success, resulting in press and photos hung to inspire youth to attend the second College Field Trip and a video with MVTV intern, featured on MVTV and the Institute’s YouTube Channel.  MVYLI youth created the first Multicultural Assembly for both MVRHS and MV Charter School students (800 students).

Martha’s Vineyard Charter School: three students served as youth delegates; two participated in the field trip to make presentations to Senator Kerry and Governor Patrick’s staff.  Two Charter School youth are representatives to the Cape & Islands Youth Congress that met monthly on Cape.

MVYLI youth are actively involved with community service projects – from Island Food Pantry, to Red Stocking Fund, to Rotary, winter coat drives, mentoring younger students at Boys & Girls Club and producing educational videos.

NAACP of Martha’s Vineyard: MVYLI youth were inducted as Junior Members of the NAACP Chapter of Martha’s Vineyard at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner at the Harborview Hotel.  They were invited to make a presentation at the NAACP Juneteenth Conference that addresses the cultural, social, educational and economic of people of color on Martha’s Vineyard. MVYLI youth will make their Cultural Health Presentation.

Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard: The Institute created an event honoring Walter Cronkite where his grandson presented the first Walter Cronkite Awards to a Vineyard youth and global youth.  They have expressed interest in partnering with MVYLI for 2011 for youth leadership program.  MVYLI youth serve on Interact Youth group.

Over 20 Island schools, non-profit organizations and community leaders have nominated Vineyard youth to serve as delegates to the MVYLI Annual Youth Leadership Summit.

Martha’s Vineyard Community Television: MVYLI developed 3 internships who’ve created videos featured on MVTV: Chris Pitt produced 3 videos (MVYLI Dreams, Vieques Youth Dreams,Youth Summit Highlights).  Intern Meagan McDonough produced video on College Field Trip.  Shavanae Anderson produced Passing the Torch and Multicultural Voices on the Vineyard.  Shav has partnered with Featherstone Center for the Arts to teach younger students about video production. They have each won the Walter Cronkite Award and Scholarship.

YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard: MVYLI serves as a training opportunity for young people who are hired by the YMCA to serve as after school and summer camp counselors, physical trainers, sports coordinator, and mural painters.

MVY Radio: MVYLI youth have been interviewed for two special shows to share their dreams and plans.

MV Times and Vineyard Gazette: have featured six articles on the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative.

Plum TV: featured MVYLI youth along with excerpts from the Vineyard Youth Summit highlights video.