2016 Conference of Young Leaders

Friday, March 11, 2016
CoYL 2016 delegates (Photo by Shawn Poynter)

Over 110 young people from YouthBuild programs across the United States gathered in Arlington County, Virginia earlier this week for the 28th Annual YouthBuild Conference of Young Leaders (CoYL).

In addition to participating in several workshops covering topics such as leadership, public speaking, and personal finances, CoYL delegates also had the opportunity to explore the nation’s capital. Young people went sightseeing in Washington, D.C. and also received a guided tour of the Capitol by the Architect of the Capitol. The Conference was funded primarily by AmeriCorps.

CoYL 2016 delegates during Capitol tour

On the last day of the conference, attendees listened to Saint Louis YouthBuild alumnus Deginald Nevils as he delivered a keynote address. Since graduating the program, Nevils has opened four restaurants in the Saint Louis area.

Deginald Nevils delivering keynote speech

“What I’d seen growing up was not what I wanted,” said Nevils during his speech.

Nevils continued by encouraging the CoYL delegates to continue achieving their goals and to persevere.

The conference also included elections for the Young Leaders Council. Candidates for the council wrote and delivered speeches sharing personal stories and explaining what they felt they could bring to the leadership body.