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Initiative Launches 10th Annual Summer Youth Leadership Program

The Youth Leadership Program is time-intensive and mentally tasking, but also socially uplifting and professionally invigorating. Truly, it is instrumental to unlocking potential and developing the next generation of servant-leaders.

– David Roman, Youth Leadership Program alum

David Roman  and fellow Youth Leadership Program alum Patrick Minor  just graduated from college, and both are very vocal about their commitment to public service. They credit their experience in the Initiative’s Youth Leadership Program with fostering this commitment and impressing upon them the value of community development work. These young leaders have bright futures ahead and the Initiative is extremely proud of their accomplishments and cannot wait to see what they will conquer next.

The Initiative is set to welcome the newest cohort of emerging leaders this week for the launch of its 10th Annual Summer Youth Leadership Program. Twenty-four students representing seventeen counties across North Carolina will gather for their first set of workshops on Thursday, June 15,  in Durham. The participants will spend two days getting to know each other and forming relationships with mentors who will support and guide them throughout the program. They will then disperse back to their home communities to begin six-week internships with local nonprofits.

The Youth Leadership Program combines team-building activities, challenging real-world job experience, and a generous stipend to create a uniquely valuable experience for NC’s youth. Participants have the opportunity to network, identify and develop their strengths, and meet NC leaders working to address some of our state’s most complex economic challenges. In addition to providing opportunities for students, the program has recently expanded to include workshops and information sessions for the participants’ parents.

“We began this program 10 years ago in response to the need for more youth development opportunities for students who might not have the resources to pay for leadership camps,” notes Initiative CEO Tara Kenchen. “Each year we are increasingly impressed by the students’ growth over the course of the summer, and by their ability to apply this experience to the challenges they face as they move forward with their schooling and their careers. As several speakers noted at the end of the program last summer, program leaders are also enriched by the experience of working with these talented young people. We are excited to get started!”

David Roman and parents at his 2017 graduation from American University

Stay tuned for updates from the newest generation of North Carolina’s leaders as the Initiative’s 10th annual Youth Leadership Program gets underway!

The Initiative is grateful to the Oak Foundation  and to the PNC Foundation for their support of the program.