Our Founder - Edison Nicholson


The Youth Leadership Institute of Erie (YLI Erie) was founded by Mr. Edison Nicholson. Edision is a lifelong resident of Erie, PA. Having grown up in poverty himself, Edision learned from a young age the value of hard work and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Nicholson is actively building an alternative to the all-too-familiar cycle of poverty, drugs, and academic drop-out rates. Sadly, many of these concerns have become generational and accepted by some as simply “the way things are.” They are often unseen, yet binding chains that can last a lifetime.

Believing there is an alternative to generational poverty, incarceration, and increased social welfare costs for all, Mr. Nicolson started The Youth Leadership Institute of Erie.

This program was built to empower the rising generation of young adults, so that they might escape such cycles and in turn, lift their neighbors.

Mr. Nicholson is a speaker, community activist and role model to the student participants in the YLI Erie program. He frequently speaks on the need to use education to change the course of each young person’s life. Moreover, Edison knows that without investment in our young people, the Erie Region and beyond will not merit the skilled and high-paying jobs so desperately needed to ensure a brighter tomorrow.

“I’ll never understand why people accept that we need to keep building and filling prisons, when the solution is right in front of us! If we get involved NOW and invest in enriching a child’s academic experience, helping them to learn to truly serve others, while teaching hands-on leadership lessons, then we can shape a student’s entire future for the better --- which benefits everyone!” - Edision Nicholson


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