Six Cornerstone Framework


Islamic Leadership Institute of America, a 501c(3) educational and research non-profit specializing in youth & leadership development has devised a unique framework based on six cornerstones for leadership development, training and education for youth ages 9 through 25. Development involves styles leadership and the nurturing of the young character mainly focusing on psychological and sociocultural aspects of the young person; education includes knowledge acquisition, skills attainment, counseling, coaching, mentoring, academic enrichment, learning and work. The framework presented below utilizes six learning approaches and is modularized to serve diverse backgrounds of youth and adults.


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The six-cornerstone framework is generic in nature and can be adapted to various youth development applications.


ILIA Six-Cornerstone Framework

ILIA offers a modular mix of development and educational components for our students through the six modes of learning illustrated below.

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Each cornerstone draws on one or more learning modes and allows for full customization and tailoring to the needs of a particular group of youth or individuals. Furthermore programming is modular borrowing from a set of traits and styles to provide an offering of particular application. A list of our core traits and the four main styles defined is shown in the image below.

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Certifications is the main cornerstone for knowledge acquisition. Students have the option to enroll in a number of courses to achieve a certain degree of mastery of knowledge in a domain of leadership. ILIA has developed over 100 courses that are integrated to offer certificates in several areas utilizing interactive didactic and applied learning. Example of some of the certifications are listed below.

  1. Youth Project Management

Youth Project Management (YPM) is a unique, first of its kind program for ages 12-25. First introduced in 2009, it provides youth the opportunity to learn and apply several key traits and styles of leadership into their lives. Emphasis is on goal-setting, mission, purpose, planning, control, execution and citizenship.

  1. Young Business Leader

Young Business Leader (YBL) offers students knowledge in areas of entrepreneurship, financing, marketing, business planning, capital generation, public speaking, partnerships and outreach.

  1. I Can Lead

A re-entry leadership development program ( specifically designed for incarcerated individuals focusses on traits of acceptance, patience, purpose, mission, hope, citizenship, unity, learning, entrepreneurship, family and community.

  1. Leader to Mankind

A leadership certificate specifically tailored for disadvantaged individuals suffering from homelessness, extreme poverty, family instability and trauma. Body of knowledge focus is on hope, perseverance, purpose, self-sufficiency, purpose, mission and employment.

  1. Mission Leadership

A leadership certificate tailored to gifted and talented youth, a condensed two week knowledge acquisition program with applied components focusing in areas of innovation, governance, management, purpose, mission, vision, planning, organizing, critical thinking, communications, systems thinking, risk management,


An integrated coaching, mentoring and counseling program, based on goal-attainment and problem solving, fostering experiential and service learning in other cornerstones. Counseling is achieved through application of complex systems management and engineering approaches coupled with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and motivational therapy to address various behavioral issues. Current tracks of EmpowerOne are:

  1. Academic

  2. Career

  3. Spiritual

  4. Social


Integrated internships allows student to practice body of knowledge attained through certification courses into an applied environment, supporting EmpowerOne and enriching student experiences.


Leadership based clubs connect leadership concepts to other subject matter areas of interest to different groups. Clubs combine between experiential and applied learning and increases students horizons through connecting theory to applied domains in STEM and humanities. Examples of some of ILIA existing clubs are:

  1. Robotics

  2. Cybersecurity

  3. Gardening

  4. Halal Yeah Youth

Mission Excellence

Academic enrichment is offered to support students in excelling at school, a crucial factor for healthy wholesome development of the young individual. Mission Excellence incorporates concepts of EmpowerOne in its programming and allows for the inclusion of more than one learning approach

Capacity Building

Capacity building is mainly a service learning approach offering, allowing students to exercise concepts learned and skills attained in a larger community service project, usually with third parties. Projects are usually related to homelessness, neighborhood revitalization, hunger management, poverty, environment and public health and wellness.