Youth Leadership Program
Currently operating at Chittenango and Cazenovia High Schools, the Youth Leadership Program offers students opportunities to broaden their personal skills in weekly sessions through hands on individual and group activities as well as discussion. Staff within each school district recruit interested students based on their need to improve school connectedness and increase their confidence level. Students gain skills and become prepared to take on a leadership role in their community.
Participation in sessions helps students become comfortable within the group in order to improve their confidence in working cooperatively as a team as well as independently. Topics include but are not limited to decision making, goal setting, teamwork and cooperation, understanding oneself and others through a personality inventory, building trust, career exploration and job shadowing, presentation skills, and workshop preparation and facilitation.
Year One of the program focuses on personal skill development. Year Two focuses on the importance of community involvement and participating in service learning activities. The ultimate goal of the Youth Leadership Program is to transition from participation based sessions to active civic engagement.
Year Two students complete service over the course of the calendar year. Activities have included being workshop facilitators at the Association of New York State Youth Bureaus conference, membership on the Madison County Youth Bureau Youth Board, increasing awareness of the mission and impact of Make-A-Wish Central New York by leading presentations in the high school setting and the community, Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign bell ringers, Chittenango Tree Lighting Event activity leaders, assisting at Wanderers Rest, assisting with events for Chittenango-Bridgeport Dollars for Scholars, helping with activities at the Cazenovia Public Library, trail maintenance at both the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park and Lorenzo Historic Site, food distribution at Caz Cares and the Friendship Inn, workshop facilitation at elementary school health and wellness activities, and reading to children at a child care center.