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Our Youth Leadership Program is Back!

The North Carolina Community Development Initiative (NCCDI) launched its 12th annual Youth Leadership Program on June 27 at the Marriott at Research Triangle Park. As of this year, the program has reached more than 292 rising high school seniors from 47 different counties where the majority of participants were young women, minorities, and residents of North Carolina’s most economically distressed counties.

The Youth Leadership Program is a summer internship that focuses on developing the next generation of North Carolina leaders. During the program, students have the opportunity to work on projects that will help them build leadership and self-awareness skills, gain a solid foundation of community development knowledge, and develop connections to state and local leaders and nonprofits. This program exists to help students grow and improve their professional, leadership, and team-building skills with a focus on community economic development. 

The Youth Leadership Program also lays the groundwork for the students’ future leadership with sessions and discussions that span the topics of financial literacy, philanthropy, conflict resolution, personal branding and marketing, and ethics and personal values. Another essential piece of this experience is that the participants spend time getting to know each other and forming relationships with mentors who support and guide them throughout the process. 

This year’s mentors are Gray Gordon, Genesis Torress, Cameron Hall, and FaLon Thomas. All of these mentors and interns have a special connection to North Carolina and its future, and some have been involved in the program for several years, like FaLon Thomas…

“This is my fourth year serving as a mentor for the NCCDI Summer Youth Program. No matter what I have going on, I make sure to make time for it. I love having the opportunity to take part in meaningful conversations with the students. I enjoy watching the students grow so much in such a short amount of time. I have so much pride in the program and am so grateful to be part of it.”

Because of the unique experience and impact the Youth Leadership Program is making on North Carolina’s youth and broader communities, it continues to thrive since it’s conception in 2008. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive program updates and keep up with what our interns are doing this summer.

You can learn more about this program here.