Build a Kinder Tomorrow

Click here to apply!

Virtual Riley's Way Youth Leadership Retreat


Build a Kinder Tomorrow

October 3, 2021
11:30am – 4:00pm EST

Optional programming on October 1, 2021
7:30pm – 8:30pm EST

Click here for the full schedule.


Start your application!


Join Riley’s Way Foundation for our third annual virtual Youth Leadership Retreat! We are excited to continue the tradition of creating a shared space for young women who are change-makers in their communities to come together, network, and grow their leadership skills. This year, we will once again meet virtually, with community building activities and teen-led workshops.

The need to feel connected and to develop deep, meaningful relationships is greater than ever. The theme for our October 2021 Retreat is Care to Connect: Build a Kinder Tomorrow. Leaders who care for themselves, their communities, and the world are the most capable of creating transformative change. Through a combination of community-building activities and leadership workshops focused on self-care, deep listening, connection-making, and the power of empathy, teen leaders will join together to discover how they can use these skills and practices to build a kinder tomorrow.

Click here for the full schedule.



The Riley’s Way Youth Leadership Retreat is for you if you:

– Are between the age of 14-18
– Identify as a girl
– Are passionate about making a positive change in your community
– Want to meet, network, learn from, and share your knowledge and experiences with other like-minded teens from across the country


What to expect:

During the Retreat, you will:

– Meet and learn from teen leaders from across the country through interactive activities and teen-led workshops (you can even propose your own!)
– Learn professional and personal skills to enhance your own leadership, with a focus on listening to yourself and others
– Participate in fun activities to get to know the other participants
– Expand your network



Past Youth Leadership Retreats

Riley’s Way first annual Youth Leadership Retreat was held September 20 – 22, 2019 at Timber Lake Camp in Shandaken, NY. We brought together close to 100 inspiring young women and their mentors from around the country to create meaningful connections with their like-minded peers. During the weekend, the teens participated in skill-building workshops, including communication techniques, relationship building, and action planning and camp activities, such as hiking, arts and crafts, dance class, and a ropes course. The biggest impact was made during the teen-led workshops, where the participants were able to hear about, and be inspired by, the work of their fellow change makers.

In 2020, we held our first virtual Retreat, with the theme of Kindness in Action: Civically Engaged, Virtually Connected, Intentionally Kind. Workshops and keynote sessions answered the questions: Around the world, we are watching as teens push movements forward like climate-change and racial equity. How can you effectively amplify your voice and the stories of others? How can you be civically engaged to make a difference on critical issues? How can you model kind leadership? 


Teen Testimonials:

“Before the Retreat, I saw kindness as a positive trait to have in leadership (and in life in general), although ruthlessness and assertiveness were often valued in the spaces I work in… In a little under 48 hours, I realized that kindness isn’t just a positive trait to have. Kindness is a crucial trait to have if you intend on creating effective and sustainable change, and it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with taking initiative, working hard, or making yourself heard. The girls and staff at the Retreat showed me that. They showed me how to listen to, learn from, and lift up others through kindness.” – Ashley, 2019 participant


“The Retreat weekend was an empowering experience, not just for me, but for everyone… We shared our experiences from school, our travels to get to the Retreat, and so much more… I got to learn about what other girls are doing and make connections about what we do in our communities, a Riley’s Way value. The atmosphere quickly turned to a community where everyone was working together and spreading kindness.” – Julia, 2019 participant


“The Riley’s Way Youth Leadership Retreat was one of the most positive experiences I have had. It allowed me to meet young “changemakers” who truly want to make a difference in other people’s lives.” – Marjorie, 2019 participant


“Thank you so much for giving us an invaluable space to connect with youth and mentors, as well as participate in both lighthearted and critical discussions this past week at the Retreat. It was so special to come back to this space for the second year, to form bonds and build knowledge, all under a construct of kindness. I met friends and mentors this week, and I am grateful for Riley’s Way for making it happen.” – 2020 Retreat participant