Mission Statement

Appleton Youth Education Initiative (AYEI) – Mission Statement The Appleton Youth Education Initiative is a student-driven organization that was founded in 2009 to help better prepare high school students for the transition into adult life and for the opportunities of continuing education. The organization accomplishes its mission in a variety of different ways.

The first is to empower students who are self-driven to succeed. One factor which makes the AYEI uniquely valuable is its ability to constructively encourage and help students to further and take ownership of their own learning goals. Students pitch their project ideas, apply to become AYEI members, take the initiative to apply for grants, and work hard to transform their ideas into realities under the mentorship and guidance of some of the local community’s finest leaders. Since its inception, over 100 AYEI student officers from the AYEI Executive Board have gone on to attend top universities including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Williams, Brown, Washington University in St. Louis, Northwestern, West Point, UW Madison and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Our second goal is to help organize and execute innovative projects. We begin with student generated ideas. By drawing on the creativity and talents of our youth, we approach solving educational issues and problems from a different angle, and can improve how students make progress in their education from the bottom up. For example, the AYEI Test Prep Class serves students from multiple school districts around the state and is predominantly taught and organized by top-scoring students - attendees can learn from fellow students who understand where they are coming from and the teachers can further sharpen their skills via the teaching process.

Third, we support projects financially. While there are many beneficial projects that require few capital expenditures, many innovative endeavors can be accelerated and scaled more effectively with support from the AYEI Fund, a 501(c)(3) entity managed by the AYEI and established within the Appleton Education Foundation.

In previous years, AYEI has organized: (1) a community leader mentorship program: we pair students with highly skilled professionals from whom they can shadow and learn; (2) a student mentorship program: high school students are paired with college student mentors to provide advice on the college admissions process and in certain instances academic support; (3) a college seminar program: local college and university professors are invited to speak to upperclassmen about the career and research opportunities within their fields; and (4) a district-wide book-drive: we collect students’ used test preparation books and help stock the school libraries for future reuse.