Saturday, September 17, 2016

Youth LEAD OKC 2016-2017 starts in November 2016

Cultural Competency
Teen Leadership Empowerment

Identity and Diversity Education Youth Board
Youth Leaders Engaging Across Differences
Reflect  Connect  Act

Established 2011 by teens
Sidney Jones ’15 (Casady), Sam Karchmer ’15 Heritage Hall), DanĂ© Norwood ’15 (Douglas), Sirenee Khadre’16(Mercy Institute/Edmond Santa Fe)

2016-2017 Summer Planning Team
Mentors: Shannon, Carmen, Buthiana, Noel
Collaborators: Lynn Porter, Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum, Sam Fowler, Oklahoma Standard, LaRissa Cohn, Boys and Girls Club

Meets TBA at diverse locations
Default site at YMCA Corporate Headquarters, 500 N. Broadway, OKC 73120.  
Contact person: Shannon Presti, 405-361-8825 (cell),

Direct/indirect advocacy and research service learning experiences with youth voice and choice.

These service opportunities aim to develop and empower teen leadership, 21st-century skills, and global citizenship.

Youth LEAD OKC is funded by YMCA Student Initiatives Program and in-kind donations from participating schools, nonprofits such as the Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum, Respect Diversity Foundation, YLOKC Friends, and a $30 yearly participation fee. Participation fee waiver available.

Participating schools and organizations in the planning team 2016-2017 are:

Casady High School
Mercy School Institute
Northwest Classen
Classen SAS

YMCA Teen Initiatives Program
Casady School Service-Learning Program
Respect Diversity Foundation
Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum - Oklahoma Standard Initiative
Boys and Girls Club @ Memorial Park - After School Program

Youth LEAD online
Roots and Wings Training and Consulting

2016-2017 Calendar
Theme: Youth Leadership Empowerment
Youth LEAD OKC is ready for an exciting new year of Youth LEADership!

YLOKC & YMCA Student Initiatives Training
by Tabitha May Tolub from Roots and Wings Consulting
November 12th-13th @ Davis, Oklahoma, YMCA Camp Classen

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: A Day ON Service

Random Acts of Kindness Week

National Volunteer Week; Global Youth Service Days

-Senior send-off, and thank you volunteers social
-FedEx Time Strategic Planning.2017-2018 via skype or google hangout facilitated by YLOKC Planning Team 2017-2018

A special request
For Mentors and Youth LEAD OKC Founders, Alumni, and ongoing members
Please send your answers to

From the desk of Janet Penn, Founder of Youth LEAD OKC Sharon
Below are some of my thoughts and questions.  I hope they will help frame your discussions as you seek to define next steps in OKC.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  

Janet's Vision:  All high school students have the ability to facilitate dialogue across identity divides, transforming fear, misunderstanding, and polarization into social cohesion and collaborative problem solving.

Janet's Essential Question:  What is the best way to actualize this vision?

What Janet knows from experience in the field with youth:
1.     It’s possible for youth to facilitate dialogues across religious divides. 
2.     The skills are transferable to other identity divides.
a.     I know this because of what Youth LEADers have done while in high school, and through interviews for Guide and for interviews done over the years, during summers while in college.
3.     As a free-standing program, it’s very difficult to fund, staff, and maintain.  

What Janet wants to know:
1.     Is it possible to move towards this vision by incorporating the ideas of YL into existing classrooms and programs? i.e. not see it as a stand-alone program, but rather a set of ideas that can be incorporated into existing educational settings.  If so, what tools (e.g. webinars, activities) will educators need in addition to the Guide? (The Guide will include all the theory, e.g. skills, attributes, along with training activities.)

2.     What particular role does training play?  How can it be delivered in a cost-effective and feasible manner?

3.     How do adults make the paradigm shift and learn to advise while youth lead?  (This was difficult  in most YL pilot programs.)

4.     How have you best made the case for the importance of these skills?

5.     What has most sustained youth involvement over time?

6. What do you feel have been the most important outcomes?

7. How do you think you can best address the challenge of inconsistent youth involvement?

8. What other challenges have you faced?

Janet hopes these questions are helpful to our strategic planning.  She knows our thoughts and musings will be helpful to her research as she writes her guide for empowering teen leadership skills!