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  3. How do NYLC Service-Learning Standards and Future Problem Solving align?
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  3. How do NYLC Service-Learning Standards and Future Problem Solving align?

How do NYLC Service-Learning Standards and Future Problem Solving align?

In our interdisciplinary programs, curious students apply both critical and creative thinking skills, collaborate with others, and clearly communicate their ideas and solutions when confronting challenges. Through the experiences they gain applying their skills to real world situations, students also demonstrate care for others as they learn to think and gain the skills they need to build productive futures.

Our Community Projects program aligns with the National Youth Leadership Council’s K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. Educators, coaches, and mentors easily tailor our programming content to meet their ​​specific needs and contexts. Future Problem Solving provides teachers with standard-based and skill-based resources to meaningfully engage students while building knowledge and skills.

The National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) accelerates student achievement by strengthening academic, civic, and character outcomes through service-learning. They tap into the passion, creativity, and ingenuity of young people to make meaningful change happen. Engaging in our Community Projects program will support the goals of students and educators looking to deepen their service-learning experiences.

Alignment with Service-Learning Standards

The NYLC  K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice represent service-learning best practices to ensure high-quality service-learning experiences that engage and empower youth to create positive change while developing academic and civic knowledge and skills.  Future Problem Solving’s Community Projects program supports educators as they deepen their service-learning practice.

Meaningful service

Students working on community projects actively engage in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

Educators support students as they meet the academic and program goals, enhancing their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through multimedia presentations, documentation, and other communication with project stakeholders.

Duration & intensity

Most students engage in community projects for an entire academic school year or more as they address community needs and meet specified outcomes.


Students are required to reflect on their project process, progress, and obstacles many times throughout their community project, deepening their deep thinking and analysis skills.

Youth voice

Community projects are student- initiated, designed, and implemented. Adults provide guidance and facilitation throughout the project, but student voice is paramount to project success.

Progress monitoring

Students use the 6-step problem-solving process as they assess the quality of their project implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and use results for improvement and sustainability.


Students and coaches deepen their understanding of diversity as they work in their communities and work to build mutual respect among all participants.


Students engaged in community projects work with community stakeholders, and these partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Program connections

Students develop the skills necessary to deepen their service-learning experiences through our programs. Our program also allows educators to learn new tools to enhance their student’s service-learning projects. 

Global Issues

Global issues writers are tasked with researching real world topics, making connections across disciplines, and clearly communicating a plan of action for the future. While this program is focused on an imagined future, the 6-step problem-solving process will support students as they learn to apply these skills to real problems in their community.

Community Projects

Students engaging in community projects will quickly see the connections between their self selected community action project and the NYLC service-learning standards. The work students complete for a community project meets the indicators of a high-quality service-learning practice.

Creative Writing and Storytelling

Students learn to thoroughly research a real world issue and then imagine possible outcomes of future actions or events. Writers develop a creative, futuristic narrative to entertain and inform readers. Educators could use this program to spark ideas about hopeful new solutions to current community issues, to ignite possible service-learning opportunities.

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April Michele

April Michele Bio

Executive Director

A seasoned educator, April Michele has served as the Executive Director since 2018 and been with Future Problem Solving more than a decade. Her background in advanced curriculum strategies and highly engaging learning techniques translates well in the development of materials, publications, training, and marketing for the organization and its global network. April’s expertise includes pedagogy and strategies for critical and creative thinking and providing quality educational services for students and adults worldwide.

Prior to joining Future Problem Solving, April taught elementary and middle grades, spending most of her classroom career in Gifted Education. She earned the National Board Certification (NBPTS) as a Middle Childhood/Generalist and later served as a National Board Assessor for the certification of others. She was trained and applied the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Humanities, which helped widen the educational scope and boundaries beyond the U.S. In addition, April facilitated the Theory and Development of Creativity course for state level certification of teachers. She has also collaborated on a variety of special projects through the Department of Education.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and the University of South Florida with a master’s in Gifted Education, April’s passion is providing a challenging curriculum for 21st century students so they are equipped with the problem solving and ethical leadership skills they need to thrive in the future. As a board member in her local Rotary Club, she facilitates problem solving in leadership at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College.