Published: August 5, 2020

Tomorrow's Leaders Start Here

Ylanda Wilhite, Youth & Community Partnerships Organizer, Keller Science Action Center

I’ve seen firsthand the impact of youth programs at the Field. 

How have you used what you learned to shape your career?

Understanding the importance of language was a major realization for me. I had never been in a location where I heard so many different languages in one place...Spanish, English, Portuguese, African dialects, Native American languages, and more....all in a single day. 

I begin to understand the power of communication (verbal and nonverbal) and how to consider cultural norms within basic conversations. Now, as the Senior Partnership Coordinator and Mighty Acorns coordinator, this is what I do. I read verbal and nonverbal body language while communicating with partners and coworkers to find methods of approaching difficult conversations. Because of this, I am more well-rounded and open-minded to finding solutions for all parties involved.

Why do you recommend the Field's youth programs?


My internship took me all over the city and exposed me to different people, languages, and food that I was unaware of. Taking the train to the American Indian Center opened my eyes even more to Chicago’s untold history, and I’ve been learning more about disadvantaged groups in the Chicago area.

What do you enjoy about nature?


I have a love for native plants and cultural histories for how people use local plants to meet their everyday needs.

Ylanda Wilhite
Youth & Community Partnerships Organizer

Native Flower Gardening

Freshwater Aqua-scaping