Today’s teens may very well be tomorrow’s leaders. But first, they need to develop and practice leadership skills that will help them transition to adulthood – and to become successful, ethical and community-minded men and women.
In the United States, there is a proliferation of teen leadership initiatives sponsored by the government, schools and national groups such as the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America and 4-H. There are also organizations and initiatives spearheaded by the teens themselves. This cross-section of programs shares the common objective to tap the natural energy and enthusiasm of our youth, helping them acquire a positive direction for their future. This is accomplished by challenging and empowering them with the skills and motivation needed to thrive as individuals and as productive members of society.
“Children’s Aid Youth Development programs create a ladder towards responsible and self-sufficient adulthood for teens by providing them a progressive range of programs and services that teaches them to guide their own growth towards success.– Vito Interrante, deputy director of School Age programs
Comprehensive teen leadership initiatives focus on the following key areas:
- Training in the areas of leadership, conflict management and resolution, time management, decision making, communication, leadership, and responsibility;
- Teaching teens how to focus and develop positive attributes, become independent, self-confident, and responsible for their own actions;
- Developing an appreciation for the impact of their actions, and learning self-respect as well as respect for others;
- Encouraging teens to help others through volunteerism; peer mentoring, youth support groups, teen action councils, and community involvement;
- Teaching teens about the “Big Picture” and the importance of protecting and preserving the plane, empowering them to be ardent advocates for the environment.