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The Service in Schools Leadership Institute is an exciting opportunity for NYC public high school students in grades 10-12 to build their leadership skills over the course of a five-day in-person institute during spring break from Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26, 2024, and an in-person after-school work session in early May 2024. During the Leadership Institute, students will work in small groups to learn about issues affecting their community—animal welfare, fast fashion, disability rights, and housing and homelessnessthat culminates in the planning and implementation of a day-long Youth Service Summit for elementary school students in late May 2024.

Program FAQs

What is the Service in Schools Leadership Institute? 

The Service in Schools (SIS) Leadership Institute is a leadership and youth service program for NYC public schools students in grades 10-12. It consists of a five-day in-person institute during spring break in April, an after-school work session in early May, and an in-person day-long day of service with elementary school students in late May 2024. 

Over the course of the program, students work in small groups to learn about animal welfare, fast fashion, disability rights, and housing and homelessness, to develop a service lesson and project that they will teach to students in grades 3-5 during a day of service, the Youth Service Summit, in late May 2024.

Who is eligible to participate in the Leadership Institute?

NYC public schools students who are currently in grades 10-12 who have not participated in past SIS programming.

What is expected of students participating in Leadership Institute? 

Leadership Institute students will participate in a five-day in-person institute from Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26, 2024 from 9:00am-3:00pm each day, an after-school work session in early May from 4:00-7:00pm, and the day-long Youth Service Summit during the school day in late May 2024. The spring break institute and after-school session take place in-person in midtown Manhattan.

During the sessions, students will participate in group discussions, collaborate with the other students in their group, share work progress, and actively engage in session activities. In addition to attending the scheduled program sessions, participating students are expected to coordinate with their group members to draft and practice their service lesson and to communicate with their teacher(s) and school officials to arrange for their participation in the Youth Service Summit during the school day in late May.

When are the Leadership Institute sessions?

  • Institute Week: Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26, 9:00am-3:00pm each day 
  • After-School Work Session: early May, 4:00-7:00pm 
  • Youth Service Summit: school day in late May, exact date TBD

What are the requirements for the Leadership Institute application?

Students interested in participating in the Leadership Institute should complete the program application by 11:59pm on Monday, March 4. The Parent/Guardian Declarations and Release must be completed by a parent/guardian, while all other questions must be completed by the applying student. Students will also be asked to provide the name and email address of a teacher in their application. If a student is selected as a finalist, SIS will reach out to the teacher named in the application for a reference.

Can I apply for the Leadership Institute if I have participated in past SIS programs (such as a past Leadership Institute, Virtual Leadership Institute, or the Teens Advocating for Change program)

Unfortunately NO. This program is open to students who have not previously participated in a SIS program. If you are an SIS alum looking for additional service opportunities, email and the SIS team will connect you to youth service opportunities!

What are the benefits of participating in Leadership Institute? 

This program offers students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and inspire youth, while gaining knowledge from a variety sources on an issue impacting their community. The in-person sessions give students the opportunity to make connections with students from across the city and emphasize group collaboration. Additionally, students will learn from experts from local community-based organizations and get support and feedback on their service-learning lessons from the SIS team. In culmination, Leadership Institute students will lead service lessons and projects for elementary school students during the day-long Youth Service Summit to demonstrate how students of all ages can make a difference in their community. 

If you have any additional questions about the Leadership Institute, email

Do educators have a role in the Leadership Institute? 

YES! Educator support for a student's participation in the Leadership Institute is important for ensuring that the student is able and committed to participate in the five-day youth leadership program from Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26, after-school work session in early May, and Youth Service Summit in late May 2024.

Applicants who are selected as a finalist should ask their teacher, guidance counselor, or an administrator to complete the Educator Reference Form. It will be sent by email from the SIS team to confirm that the educator is aware of the time commitment necessary for participation and will support the student in participating in the program. The Educator Reference Form is a Google form that must be completed by 11:59pm on Friday, March 15. Applications that do not include an Educator Reference Form will not be considered.