The Initiative’s Youth Leadership Program completed its 10th year of cultivating a new generation of leaders this summer.
The Youth Leadership Program is a five-week intensive summer internship that places students from across North Carolina in paid internships with organizations in their home counties. Over the past ten years, interns have completed projects such as coordinating a community health fair, assisting with creating a business plan, creating youth programs for children, building community gardens, developing community outreach campaigns and assisting with the documentation of the organization’s work in the community (via photos, video, testimonials, reports, etc.).
The Youth Leadership Program develops students’ professional, leadership, and team building skills while immersing them in the world of community economic development. In addition to the internship, the Youth Leadership Program works with students and parents to prepare them for college, build public speaking skills, and provide mentoring services among other activities.
In 2017, students joined the Youth Leadership Program from 23 different counties across the state. Of those students, 70 percent were African American, 13 percent Caucasian, 8.7 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native, and 8.7 percent Latino.