YMCA teaches teens leadership skills

Participants in the Teen Lead On programme. - Photo: Submitted

Fifteen teenagers from Cayman’s public and private high schools have completed the first phase of the YMCA ‘Teen Lead On’ programme.

The week-long leadership programme, which was sponsored and funded by Saxon, comprised a variety of workshops and seminars which provided teens with specialty leadership training. Activities included lectures and theory sessions, a farm field trip, a boat/snorkelling excursion, team-building challenges, conquering the high ropes course, a practical leadership exercise with young campers and a swimming excursion to Smith Cove.

Each event incorporated a curriculum that measured leadership competency of participants and evaluated the teens in areas such as self-confidence, communication, leadership initiative, problem-solving, time management, teamwork, and ability to follow instructions.

In a press release, the YMCA said the teens had responded positively to the programme in an anonymous survey.

One survey respondent said, “The programme was excellent. It really helped me with my confidence and leadership skills. I met nice people who were supportive and have become good friends. The leaders treated us like adults. It made learning fun and I would love to do it again.”

Greg Smith, former CEO of the Y, who led the programme, said, “On the last day of the programme we asked the teens to share something that they gained from the week which really stood out to them. The answers were so genuine, each with different key takeaways.

“What they all had in common was that everyone grew and learned something they could take with them to positively influence others around them. It was great to hear them say they didn’t know what to expect from ‘Teen Lead On’ (and a parent may have even pushed them to do it), but that the leaders made the entire experience of learning fun, topping any camp they participated in before.”

The goal of ‘Teen Lead On’ is for teens to develop and strengthen the leadership skills by participating in activities.

The programme runs for six months. During that time, participants will attend monthly events, complete 40 volunteer hours and celebrate their achievements at a closing banquet.

For more information about the YMCA visit www.ymcacayman.ky, email [email protected] or call 926-9622.

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