About the YEF Institute

NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) grew out of the belief that to thrive, cities need strong leaders who make the education, safety and health of the families and children in their communities a citywide priority.

Founded in 2000 under the leadership of the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, NLC’s YEF Institute helps local leaders champion the needs of children and families and create environments that help all young people achieve their full potential.

With expertise in early childhood success, education and expanded learning, health and community wellness, reengagement of disconnected youth, and family economic success, the YEF Institute is the go-to place for city leaders seeking to improve outcomes for children and families.  

Through technical assistance projects, peer learning networks, leadership academies and Mayors’ Institutes, the YEF Institute reaches cities of all sizes and brings together local leaders to develop strategies, implement programs and create partnerships that promote the well-being of children and families.

National foundations and other funders have invested a cumulative $50 million in the YEF Institute. Our projects have also channeled nearly $25 million in additional funding to NLC member cities.