During these tough economic times, we need to find ways to work together, pool our resources so we can help our young people. I believe the Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s program provides a unique opportunity to inspire people to collaborate – and bring forth the best in our young people. I first learned about the Stone Soup Leadership Institute from Ray Gatchalian in 1998. As the local hero featured in Stone Soup for the World, Ray’s enthusiasm for the Institute was contagious. I was pleased when he invited you to work with him in Oakland -- and impressed with the quality of the Institute’s work, and its impact on the community. Your vision of how to execute a plan ignited our staff.  I stand ready to assist in any way to coalesce your organization with appropriate sources. By spotlighting our outstanding youth, and providing leadership development opportunities, we will create a powerful multiplier effect. By using the media to spread this message, we can unite students, teachers and citizens to overcome our differences and work together to improve our community.

Sheila Jordan, Superintendent, Alameda Co. Schools, Oakland, CA

As Superintendent it gives me great pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for the Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative (MVYLI) whose mission is to train young people to become leaders in the 21st century. MVYLI’s expanded year-round program focused on Career Mentoring & Job Shadow Day is a welcome asset to prepare students for today’s jobs and careers.  Throughout the years they have developed several major projects that have benefitted the Vineyard community, one of them being the Global Technology Initiative.  Kevin McGrath, Director of MVRHS 21st Century Community Learning Center is helping champion this prototype.  We’re grateful the Institute is collaborating with the Leadership Class at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School to prototype this online learning portal – connecting our students with other island youth -- creating a Global Action Learning Community. MVYLI is very much aligned with my 5-year plan for Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools.   In the past, our students have greatly benefitted from MVYLI’s emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, expanding their horizons and helping them think about their future.   I’m especially pleased to see this year’s focus on writing.  I enjoyed reading their essays about how this year’s Youth Leadership Summit including the Gandhi Youth Forum had such a powerful impact on our young people.   MVYLI is offered free to all Vineyard youth. It is an important component to their education.  Over the years they have helped catalyze significant financial support for our Vineyard youth.  MVYLI needs our collective support so they can realize our and reach many more students.

Matthew D’Andrea, Superintendent of Schools, Martha’s Vineyard Regional Schools

We are proud of our Lanai youth and grateful to Pulama Lanai and to SHYLI for providing these opportunities to them. I’m impressed that Oceanit is partnering with SHYLI to feature our youth at their corporate headquarters. As recipients of the Corporate STEM Award, Oceanit has a major commitment to investing in the development of our future leaders. We’re eager to have many more students experience the powerful results of STEM-Sustainability leadership training.                               

Elton Kinoshita, Lana’i High & Elementary School Principal, Lana’i, Hawaii

Summit: 2016-2019

Martha’s Vineyard: 2010-2017

Hawaii: 2012-2018

Holyoke