USAID Announces New YouthLead Platform for Young Changemakers

December 4, 2018


A Colombian youth promotes peace through community radio programs.
A Colombian youth promotes peace through community radio programs. Photo: ACDI/Katalina Morales

The USAID-funded platform is a new collaboration marketplace where young changemakers aged 15-35 can forge connections with a growing community of peers and partners looking to benefit from each other's experience — and eager to advance their work and scale their innovations.

YouthLead allows members to track funding opportunities that empower their change-making efforts, including grants, scholarships, conference travel support and tips for crowdfunding. They can even connect to peer mentors or other "allies" who offer professional mentoring to young change makers. The platform also features thematic discussion groups and webinars, with access to resources such as how-to manuals, case studies, research reports, and presentations. The platform, managed by YouthPower Learning and Making Cents International, is supported through a collaborative effort by the LAC, Africa, and E&E regions, as well as the DCHA, Global Health and BFS Bureaus. 

Why YouthLead?

YouthLead sprang from the initial discussions of a group of 100 young changemakers from around the globe — including Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI), Atlas Corps Fellows, Teach for All, etc. — who have served as a Youth Advisory Group from the beginning of this activity. Their expectations shaped the features of YouthLead, with their key objectives to connect with changemakers globally, learn from each other and find peer-to-peer support and easy access to tools, experts, and funding.

  1. Get Connected: Young changemakers want to access peer-learning from other changemakers as well as collaborate with mentors and partners, virtually and in real time, to drive the change they seek.
  2. Get Inspired: Young changemakers want to learn about the issues and challenges tackled by other young changemakers and youth-focused projects. YouthLead not only allows them to share videos on innovative approaches but join together in specific campaigns, such as reducing child marriage practices or expanding political representation.
  3. Get Funded: Young changemakers often struggle to find needed resources. YouthLead helps them discover and track funding opportunities that empower change-making efforts, such as USAID's new Development Innovation Venture Fund.
  4. Get Smarter: Young changemakers are participating in thematic discussion groups and webinars, accessing resources and becoming influencers by sharing opinions and insights. For example, Teach for All education advocates are sharing resources with each other across countries as well as with other advocates from other networks interested in quality education.