Calling on the Next Generation: Are you ready to Lead?

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A recent Gallup study of young Americans aged 18 to 35 found that those who had high exposure to certain 21st century skill development in school were twice as likely to be successful at work.* In order to ensure that the children we work with at the Buddy Program are ready to succeed in life and at work, two of our core mentoring programs focus on building these skills through experiential learning:  the LEAD Program (Leadership through Exploration, Action and Discovery) and Lemonade Day.

In our LEAD Program, Brooke Tuveson teaches a year-long Outdoor Leadership class at the Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.  In small teams, those students work on service-learning projects that aim to solve real-life issues in their geographic and academic communities.  Past examples have included a food drive to benefit local non-profit Lift Up, an anti-bullying campaign at RFHS, and raising money for local non-profit Huts for Vets alongside educating high school youth around challenges facing combat veterans returning home from war.  In the same Gallup study noted above, the two most critical ingredients to the success of those surveyed were whether they had “worked on a long-term project that took several classes to complete” and whether they “used what [they] were learning about to develop solutions to real-world problems in [their] community or in the world.”*

The second program that empowers youth through entrepreneurship, college-readiness, financial literacy, and life-skills programming is Lemonade Day.  A national program that teaches children how to build, own and operate their own lemonade stand business using a 14-step curriculum, Lemonade Day will reach 450 children this year in their classroom or home setting.  On June 27th, the budding entrepreneurs will open their stands for business and save, spend and share the proceeds they earn.

At the Buddy Program, we are moving the needle on the nation’s gap between what is being taught in schools and the skills that children need to succeed outside of the classroom.  Every youth needs to discover what it means to be a leader.  At the Buddy Program, we provide youth with the opportunity to acquire real-world experience by taking a risk, stepping outside of their comfort zones and learning something new from that experience.

*Source: The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring: Should “Mentor Duty” be the next “Jury Duty”? By Brandon Busteed



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