The Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC), a program of the Jane Goodall Institute USA (JGI), is made up of a passionate group of young people from around the United States who are dedicated to making positive change happen in their communities--for people, animals, and the environment.

Members of the Roots & Shoots NYLC are the youth voice of the USA Jane Goodall Institute and work hard to support JGI’s programs and help contribute to the organization’s success while also leading projects in their communities! 

NYLC members are provided with fun and comprehensive skills training and opportunities to mentor Roots & Shoots members and represent Roots & Shoots at events and conferences. Members gain access to influential leaders, receive in-depth training on community mapping and service learning, and gain access to resources to help them become leaders in their local communities.


Membership on the National Youth Leadership Council is a serious commitment of time and energy.

If selected by the membership committee, you must agree to:

  • Learn the Roots & Shoots model of service learning and the traits of a compassionate leader.
  • Serve as virtual and in-person trainers and mentors to Roots & Shoots members around the globe.
  • Contribute to social media features, blogs, and regularly reply to and comment on posts by members.
  • Lead and participate in special
    projects and campaigns.
  • Assist with Roots & Shoots fundraising efforts.
  • Promote Roots & Shoots resources and campaigns through your networks.
  • Serve a one-year term on the Council, January-December (renewable up to 12th grade).
  • View and respond to Council emails a minimum of twice per week.
  • Attend and participate in meetings. Meetings are held via webinar twice per month, approximately one hour in duration.
  • Commit a minimum of 10 hours per month on your individual projects, campaigns, committee work, and events.
  • Participate in regional Roots & Shoots and collaborator outreach, events, conferences, and campaigns, including presentations to members, schools and partners.
  • NYLC members are the youth voice of the Jane Goodall Institute, so they have unprecedented access to leaders at JGI and an opportunity to have input on national campaigns and new resources
  • Opportunities to travel and represent Roots & Shoots at conferences and events
  • Annual National Youth Leadership Summit, a week-long out-of-state training and development experience*
  • Opportunities to meet and connect with leaders from various fields
  • Visibility: as NYLC members we are always looking for opportunities to publicly highlight your work and your skills
  • Opportunities to work directly with staff and board members of the Jane Goodall Institute

*Invitation to attend the Summit is dependent upon successful completion of NYLC program requirements. Attending the Summit may require fundraising and out-of-state travel (Roots & Shoots staff can assist with fundraising ideas and support).


Applicants to the National Youth Leadership Council must be:

  • United States citizens
  • High school students (9th-11th grades) in January, with special consideration given to 8th and 9th graders
  • Committed members of their local Roots & Shoots group or other community organizations
  • Passionate about the mission of Roots & Shoots and the Jane Goodall Institute
  • Interested in developing their leadership skills and their national and international youth leader network
  • Excited about being mentors to the greater Roots & Shoots network, and about acting as the youth voice of the Jane Goodall Institute

Application Process

  1. Submit completed application (including essays, photo, and short bio), one letter of recommendation, one creative piece, and parent/guardian acknowledgment and signature.
  2. Applicants that are selected in the first step of the review process will go on to phone/Skype interviews with two current members of the National Youth Leadership Council.
  3. References and Parent/Guardians may be contacted.
  4. Applicants will be notified via phone call and email - newly selected NYLC members will be required to notify Roots & Shoots staff of their acceptance and submit an edited bio and photo.
  5. First Council meeting for new National Youth Leadership Council members is January 6, 2019.

If you have any questions, please email


Applications to join the 2019 NYLC are open.
lick HERE to submit your application!