Stone Soup Leadership Institute

Praise for The Institute

I was present when the real celebrity/dignitaries, Walter Cronkite and Marianne Larned gave life to a concept that was to become Stone Soup for the World … and led us here today. Having had the great honor to witness the beginning, I am thrilled to be part of this event to celebrate Demi and Sam and all of the 100 impressive heroes featured in Stone Soup for a Sustainable World: Life Changing Stories of Young Heroes, who are the manifestation of that dream. I applaud you all for your brilliance, ingenuity and commitment to helping our planet and its inhabitants. The iconic Walter Cronkite was a man of unimpeachable integrity, and great foresight and imagination. He also was an environmentalist. When Marianne shared her dream of challenging people to find their passion and use it for the betterment of mankind, he challenged her to light the way. I have no doubt that he envisioned what would follow – and is smiling down on you now, from his nearby perch, reveling in the life-changing effect you all are having on our world. Walter and Marianne both understood that it would be up to your generation to alter our course. My deepest gratitude for the enduring impact your contributions are making today, and for lighting the way for the heroes of tomorrow.

Marlene Adler
Former Chief of Staff to Walter Cronkite

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute is continuing the legacy of past environmentalists by fostering youth leadership throughout the world. Launching the “Green Revolution” from a grassroots base will be integral to future policy making; it is up to these youth delegates such to lead this movement. With a focus in sustainable building, sustainable economics, cultural sustainability, and sustainable agriculture, this year’s Sustainability Summit will continue to tackle the most difficult problems our world community faces. Use this Summit as a tool to help hone your already budding leadership qualities into a strength that can help you connect with people from all walks of life.

U.S. Secretary John Kerry
Climate Czar/Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Your dedication, compassion and care for the island communities you work with is greatly appreciated and your efforts have not gone unnoticed. The work you have done for sustainable development across the globe is a valuable contribution to the future of our environment.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s goal of inspiring, educating and empowering young people such as yourself to take initiative in their communities is a critical step in ensuring the success and longevity of our oceans, island sustainability as well as our planet.

Joe Kennedy, The Groundwork Project

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s book series, Stone Soup for the World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes is a treasure. It gives educators a powerful way to engage students through real-life stories with meaningful lessons that address the importance of SEL (social-emotional learning) values of caring for ourselves, others, and for the community. The Institute’s noble work with students, teachers and schools reminds me of how we created one of the nation’s first SEL curriculum and founded two schools with SEL as a central pillar. We worked alongside educators, political & business leaders, and a group Nobel Laureates to reflect on the educational needs of our society. We decided that the central foundation of a school is beyond students’ knowledge. We must give them an opportunity to think, act, and lay the foundation for life-long learning. The Institute’s curriculum and online courses gives teachers the tools they need to bring SEL into their classrooms. I encourage everyone who cares about our children, their future and ours to bring these tools into our schools.

Karen Stone McCown, Founder The Nueva Learning Center and The Synapse School
Featured in Daniel Goldman’s best seller Emotional Intelligence

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: 2016-2020

Martha’s Vineyard: 2010-2017

Hawaii: 2012-2018