Rolling hills, contour farming, bubbling springs, and clear brooks at the bottom of every coulee: The Driftless Region, so named because of the lack of glacial activity during the last Ice Age, is made up of southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and our home, southwestern Wisconsin. Along with its natural beauty and extensive recreational opportunities, the Driftless Region is known for its vibrant rural culture, its wealth of organic agriculture, and its social activism.
Our curriculum is informed by, and deeply tied to, the land and to this community. Geology and Geography classes visit nearby caves. Water Cycles classes visit the nearby Kickapoo and Mississippi Rivers. Agriculture classes do projects on local organic farms. Foods and Nutrition classes learn how to forage for wild foods and cook a meal with what they find. The Land Ethic Expeditions take students each year on a one-week learning journey into the surrounding landscape. The spirit of this place even inspires the literature we read in English classes.
In the heart of the unmatched beauty of the Driftless, Youth Initiative students learn what it means to live in harmony with nature and as part of a community.
The Town of Viroqua
Youth Initiative High School, founded in 1996, is one of many independent cultural institutions and progressive businesses in and around Viroqua: a thriving, creative small town in which to live and learn.
High school is a time to get out of the classroom and make a mark in the community. YIHS students engage the surrounding community through service work, internships, independent studies, and fundraising events.