Teen Leadership

Young Leaders: Leading Habits

The early bird might get the worm, but local high school students immersed in real world leadership challenges are getting wings. Sophomores from five area high schools meet once a month to soak in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens and learn another trait invaluable to effective leadership: the ability to work together in a community setting.

Teen Leadership

From 2006-2017, Incourage facilitated a unique, hands-on learning experience that reached 250 local high school sophomores. 

Using the guiding principles from Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey, students studied one habit each month during their school year. Sessions centered on learning and applying these skills toward leadership and community involvement.

Students undertook one major community project, selected and executed by the class. Using their newly-honed Teen Leadership skills, they made decisions and worked together. In past community projects, teens:

  • planned a Senior Prom at a local assisted living community, 2017
  • planned an intergenerational activity day with seniors, 2016
  • added artistic elements to the Growing Friends Community Garden, 2015
  • cleaned, primed and painted 15 donated bikes for the first rural Bike Share program in Wisconsin, 2014
  • planted trees and shrubs as a vegetative buffer for the Two Mile Detention Pond, 2013
  • built seven Little Free Libraries for each community in the south Wood County area, 2012
  • developed a dog walking path at South Wood County Humane Society, 2011
  • built four portable table-top gardens that are used by low income, elderly and special needs individuals, 2010
  • restored the low ropes course at YMCA Camp Alexander, 2009
  • developed a classroom garden for children at Building Blocks Learning Center, 2008
  • planned a day of activities for Park Place adult day care clients, 2007

View a video from the Class of 2017’s community project:

In 2009, a grantmaking component was introduced. Teens reviewed and evaluated grant applications from local nonprofits that provided services for teens. The teen leaders then determined which organization received a $2,000 grant award. Past recipients include:

  • Central Wisconsin Literacy Council: Support basic English literacy, 2017
  • Midstate Independent Living Consultants: River Cities Clubhouse, an organization that helps residents with mental health issues, 2015
  • Wisconsin Coalition for Youth: Distracted Driving Kills, 2014
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area: Keystone Leadership Challenge, 2013
  • North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board: Youth Job Center Open House & Resource Fair, 2012
  • Pittsville Area Historical Society: A Day at Scranton School, 2011
  • Junior Achievement: Job Shadowing program, 2010