Our Values

Our core values reflect the principles we believe are necessary to bring our vision to reality. These values embody the spirit of our organization, both in what we do and how we do it. We strive for all staff and participants to model these values at all times – in the classroom, on college campuses, within our communities, and across the nation.
Grassroots Change

Every individual has a voice and the potential to change their communities.

We believe all people play a role in the development of their communities and that meaningful change grows from local and personal knowledge. We work specifically with young people who have the chance and capacity to be life-long leaders and advocates.

Systemic Impact

We believe in big change, and always start at the root of the issue.

We address the root causes of problems instead of focusing on surface-level symptoms. Working through our democratic system of government is challenging, complex, and incremental — and necessary to create lasting change.

Collaboration and Diversity

Our differences make us stronger.

Our work is strengthened by incorporating multiple points of view into everything we do. We respect and embrace the diverse backgrounds, perspectives, insights, and experiences of our partners and believe that strong personal relationships allow us to best work and learn together.


We learn by doing.

We believe that the process of trying can teach us as much as achieving our outcome. At the same time, we think carefully about the way things get done, and value learning from failure as much as celebrating success. We strive for our students to learn through experience so that they understand the process of effecting change and can apply it both now and in the future.

Open Mindedness

We are always learning and growing.

We do not have all of the answers, and there are many solutions. We must be curious, listen, reflect, make changes, and operate with humility in order to achieve our goals.