YOUth Are The Change: Introducing the ALL-NEW 2021 NYLC!


2020 may not have been easy, but it did show us all the power of collective empathy, community, and connection. When we work together to tackle life’s biggest challenges, we know that anything is possible. Thankfully, 2021 has a ton of potential and nothing demonstrates that more than this BIG NEWS: Introducing the BRAND-NEW 2021 Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council!

The National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) of Roots & Shoots USA, a program of the Jane Goodall Institute USA (JGI) founded by Dr. Jane Goodall, is a group of young people hand-picked from across the country who are dedicated to making positive change happen in their communities. These remarkable young people show an incredible commitment to the power of community service, and will continue to make a big impact through the NYLC.

We’re beyond proud to announce the members of the 2021 NYLC, an amazing group that includes young people from all over the United States who bring their own unique skills, background, and stories to the Roots & Shoots family. Last year, we received our highest number of applications EVER and as a result our 2021 NYLC is the BIGGEST we’ve ever had. That means that this spectacular group, unlike any NYLC before, is made up of 42 members, including many new young people doing unbelievably important work that is truly good for all.

Roots & Shoots 2021 NYLC Across the U.S.!

Click Here to Get to Know The New NYLC

New Members & Their Projects/Focus Areas

Adelaide K., San Diego, California, Sustainability + Marginalized People – Adrija K., Edison, New Jersey, Education + STEAM – Anna G., Nolensville Tennessee, Sustainability + Pollinators – Asha M., Chandler, Arizona , Endangered Species – Ayushi G., Memphis, Tennessee, Climate Change + Social Justice + Public Health – Caleb O., Gambrills, Maryland, Socioeconomic Equity in STEM – Charlotte X., Plainsboro, New Jersey, Environmental Advocacy + Sustainable Business – Chloe V., Tucson, Arizona, Volunteerism + Engineering – Dana A., Kissimmee, Florida, Social Justice + Human Rights – Daniel T., Venice, California, Fossil Fuel Divestment + Biodiversity – Emma H., Pittsboro, North Carolina, Environmental Advocacy + Human Rights – Margaret N., Osceola, Wisconsin, Education + Plastic Pollution – Melody H., Omaha, Nebraska, Volunteerism + Music Therapy – Sierra S., Sandy, Utah, Social Justice + Environmental Advocacy – Sophia C., Hyde Park, Vermont, Climate Change + Social Justice – Victoria S., Huntington, New York, Human Rights + Equity – Yoshino W., San Diego, California, Animal Welfare + Mental Health + Music Therapy – Zachary R., Calabasas, California, Climate Change + Sustainability –

Returning Members & Their Projects

April Z., Oro Valley, Arizona, Gender Equity in STEM – Chloe N., Rye Brook, New York, Native Species + school composting – Claire G., Winter Park, Florida, Gun Violence + Pollinators – Daniel R., Sherman Oaks, California, Green Spaces + Public Lands – Gabriella M., Greenwich, Connecticut, Income Inequality + Community Enhancement – Hannah Z., Tuscon, Arizona, Sustainable Diet + Human Health – Jonathan L., Arcadia, California, Environmental Conservation – Joseph Z., Omaha, Nebraska, Music Therapy – Kate M., Los Angeles, California, Gun Violence + Diversity & Inclusion – Madailein G., San Marino, California, Animal Welfare + Gender Equality – Mahir R., Kissimmee, Florida, STEM + Equal Access to Medical Care – Marissa T., Morganville, New Jersey , Environmental Engineering + Environmental Advocacy – Ojas P., Round Rock, Texas, STEM + Environmental Engineering – Rachel L., Los Angeles, California, Education + Marginalized People – Rhea K., Morganville, New Jersey, Plastic Consumption + Sustainability – Samyukta I, Marietta, Georgia, Social Justice + Equal Access to Education – Shrida P., Lafayette, California, Community Building – Vaidehi P., Round Rock, Texas, Environmental Advocacy + STEM – Virginia J., Pittsboro, North Carolina, Environmental Stewardship + Animal Welfare – William C., Miami, Florida, Climate Change Activism –

College Council & Their Projects

Abby A., Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Fracking + Women’s Health – Everett N., Dexter, Michigan, Education + Gender Equality – Noah W., Sherman Oaks, California, Green Spaces + Public Lands –

This year is the 30th Anniversary of Roots & Shoots and we can’t wait to show you how the NYLC is contributing to the special celebration. We are so thrilled to see all the amazing ways they change their communities for the better and inspire even more young changemakers over the next 12 months… 

The NYLC represents the youth voice of Roots & Shoots (and more broadly the JGI USA) and helps to inspire people to be compassionate citizens every single day. Through the program, NYLC members gain professional development and support in expanding and implementing their service projects, unique opportunities to share their perspectives and projects, mentorship with experts, and even international collaborations including exclusive summits. NYLC members are provided fun and comprehensive skills training which consists of public speaking, storytelling, community mapping, service learning, and digital activism. Past members have gone on to become changemakers in all arenas including the sciences, sustainability, advocacy, and so much more. Alums like Khalifa Stafford have gone on to graduate with degrees in neuroscience working toward a combined Ph.D. and MD to become a physician-scientist. Additionally, alum Raquel I. presented her own TED Talk and has spoken at the United Nations, and Kai Neander has been involved in non-profit health management in Washington DC. Through this leadership program, members unleash their potential and become the compassionate leaders the world needs.  

Through JGI’s Roots & Shoots program, Dr. Goodall and JGI empower young people to improve their communities through service projects, ensuring that they improve their world for people, other animals, and the planet we share. Roots & Shoots exists in over 65 countries around the world and all 50 states, growing a movement that’s good for all. You can become a member for FREE today and start your very own project and group.

Learn more about the NYLC and how you can show your interest for 2022!  


The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Victoria is the Roots & Shoots communications coordinator. Victoria grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and previously worked as a media manager for NextGen America (a youth vote organization) in Pennsylvania and as a press secretary for Tom Steyer and his philanthropies in San Francisco. Victoria is a graduate of Dickinson College and loves volunteering on campaigns and fostering shelter animals. She is based in the DC area.