South Wood County Teen Leadership, a program of Incourage Community Foundation, provides unique, hands-on learning experiences for local high school sophomores each year. Since 2006, 149 youth have participated.
Students meet once a month, September through April, during their sophomore year. Using the guiding principles from Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey, students study one habit each month. The book provides a guide to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve goals and get along with people. Sessions center on learning and applying these skills toward leadership and community involvement.
Each participant meets with a community leader and learns how the leader uses his/her skills in a community role.
Students also are involved in one major community project, selected and executed by the class. They must use their newly-honed Teen Leadership skills to make decisions and work together. In the past, students have volunteered at Park Place, an adult day care program; developed an outdoor classroom garden at Building Blocks Learning Center; restored the low ropes course at YMCA Camp Alexander; and built table-top gardens which provide easy accessibility for low income elderly and people with disabilities.
In 2009, a grantmaking component was introduced. Teens review and evaluate grant applications from local nonprofits that provide services for teens. The teen leaders then determine which organization will receive a $2,000 grant award. Past recipients include Junior Achievement job shadow program and Pittsville Area Historical Society’s “A Day at Scranton School.”
For additional information, contact:
Dawn Vruwink | firstname.lastname@example.org | 715.423.3863