What is the mission of IYL?

The mission of the Impact Young Lives (IYL) Foundation is to identify exceptional young leaders amongst South African university students of color and transform them into globally-minded citizens by providing access to international professional networks and mentors and exposure through travel to a well-established civil society in action.


How does IYL achieve its mission?

The cornerstone of the IYL program is the “Expose, Enlighten & Educate” experience.  This is a two-week expenses paid journey to The United States that engages the IYL Scholars with leaders in government, business, science, technology, education and media. The IYL Scholars meet a wide range of Americans, students like themselves and adults of widely different backgrounds who often emerge as role models.  Visits are made to national landmarks and different cities including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.

Scholars stay in touch with IYL long after their American tour.  IYL board members who visit South Africa host dinners to which all Scholars are invited.


Who accompanies the students when they are on their trip?

Scholars fly to Washington, D.C. and are met by Barbara Howard, IYL Director of Operations, who will be with them throughout the trip.  Barbara is a South African who has lived in the United States since 1995 and has coordinated and conducted all “Expose, Enlighten & Educate” trips to date.


How are IYL Scholars Selected?

IYL has four partner organizations in South Africa:  African Leadership Academy, Life College, Student Sponsorship Organization and Ubuntu.  These organizations select qualified candidates and suggest that they apply.  Scholars range between 18-25 years old.  They are in college.


How many scholars participate each year?





How many scholars has IYL helped?

Over 55 scholars have participated in the “Expose, Enlightened & Educate” experience.


How did the IYL Foundation get started?

In August 2000, the prestigious Aspen Institute for Exemplary Leadership named Dr. Christopher Howard — a former Rhodes Scholar and now President of Robert Morris University — a Henry Crown Fellow. This program required Howard to devise a community service project. Working on an HIV/AIDS initiative in sub-Saharan Africa for Bristol-Myers Squibb at the time, Howard reflected on the factors that led to his success and contacted eight of his closet friends to begin his project.

Aware of how a good education coupled with exposure to different cultures and a robust professional network influenced their own success, the eight decided that extending these opportunities to students in South Africa would be a worthy undertaking.


Why does the IYL Foundation choose to focus on South African scholars?

Inspired by the leadership of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former president Nelson Mandela, South Africa shares a spiritual bond with the U.S., most visibly through Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a just and peaceful society. Africa’s wealth, geography, history and influence also mean its prosperity is inextricably tied to South Africa.

In addition, IYL’s founder and board members have an affinity for South Africa. Through their past travel, work, citizenships or residencies there, or through their personal connections, they have first-hand knowledge of the inequalities created and still maintained by apartheid. They have desire to accelerate change in South Africa by ensuring greater opportunities for the nation’s young leaders. They believe positive change in South Africa has far-reaching benefits for the U.S., the African continent and the rest of the world.


How are donations to IYL used?

The IYL Foundation is a 501 (c) not-for-profit organization that relies on the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations for funding. Contributions to IYL are used to pay for travel and accommodation expenses associated with the “Expose, Enlighten & Educate” trip for scholars.


How do I make a donation to IYL?

You can make an online donation through the PayPal feature on the IYL website. Alternatively, you can make a check payable to IYL Foundation, and mail it to: THE IYL FOUNDATION, 9822 La Jolla Farms Road, La Jolla, California 92037. Donations can also be made in the form of stocks. You can look at the IYL website or call 800-567-5163 for information about stock donations.


Is my IYL contribution tax deductible?

All donations to IYL are tax deductible. The IYL Foundation is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.


Who can I contact directly about IYL?

You can contact Barbara Howard, Director of Development and the “Expose, Enlighten & Educate” Program, at bnoblehoward@gmail.com or at 405-365-6490. Additional contact information is on the IYL website under “Contact Us.”