New York State Youth Leadership Council

Who we are


The NYSYLC is the first undocumented youth led, membership led, organization that empowers immigrant youth to drop the fear and challenge the broken immigration system through leadership development, grassroots organizing, educational advancement, and a safe space for self-expression. We are a volunteer run organization; please consider donating so we’ll be able to continue our efforts.

Our campaign and priority for 2012 is passing the New York DREAM Act, a bill that if passed would allow immigrant youth who have grown up in the U.S. to access to state funded financial aid programs. Get involved in the campaign!

We also have other programs and committees for you to get involved. Check out HOW WE WORK for more info and get involved now!

Join us and become a NYSYLC Member today. Register and pay your membership due ONLINE or fill out the MEMBERSHIP FORM and mail it back to The New York State Youth Leadership Council We are located at 339 Lafayette St Manhattan, NY 10012 Suite #304 buzzer #8.

For any questions about how to become a member feel free to email



our logo Some may look at our logo and think…what? But we have a meaning behind it, we promise.

The asterisk is a little gender neutral person with their fist up. We also fight for equal rights.

While reading, an asterisk is used to tell you that there is more to that word on the bottom of the page. Similarly, immigrant youth have more to them than what we initially see. We have struggles, stories, worries, dreams, aspirations, downfalls, uprisings and much more. That is what we want everyone to see that there is more to us if you take a closer look. We want to highlight every angle. EVERY story.




A study released by the Migration Policy Institute reveals that there are 765,000 undocumented students from ages 13 to 18 who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 and about 65,000 students without immigration status graduating U.S. high schools every year. Among them are valedictorians, honor roll students, athletes, talented artists, and aspiring teachers, doctors, nurses, and lawyers. Brought to this country by their parents as young children, these young people have grown up and lived in the U.S. for most of their lives. Like their U.S. born peers, they dream of pursuing higher education and fulfilling their families’ dream of a brighter and better future. Unfortunately, due to their immigration status, they face barriers to higher education, are unable to work legally and contribute to their communities, and live in constant fear of deportation.

The introduction of the federal Dream Act in 2001 promised to change this state of limbo for a large portion of undocumented immigrant youth. The Dream Act, if enacted into law, would offer a 6-year path to legalization for undocumented youth who came to this country before their 16th birthday and have since graduated from high school and are enrolled in college or in the military for a minimum of two years.

In 2005, the Dream Act Task Force at the New York Immigration Coalition convened immigrant youth organizations and affected students to a meeting about what could be done to help pass this important legislation. The small group of interested activist youth and supporting immigrant rights organizations collected over 1,000 holiday cards to be delivered to NY Senators. By 2006, a small cluster of youth decided to create their own organization because no other organization in the city had the capacity to fully concentrate on the needs of immigrant youth in New York and nationally.

Since its official founding in early 2007, the New York State Youth Leadership Council has actively engaged students, educators and parents locally, regionally and nationally on behalf of equal access to higher education for immigrant students.