This program is designed for co-leadership. In addition to sharing the work of leading, there are many benefits of co-leadership, such as providing more than one role model, setting an example of collaboration, providing more than one adult with whom youth can develop trust, and reducing the potential isolation of leading without a partner. In addition, co-leaders regularly evaluate the program and offer critical and creative course corrections. Co-leadership often leads to a deep connection and appreciation between the leaders—some of the many rewards of engagement in this program.
The most important skill for co-leadership is the ability to sensitively and authentically interact with youth. The curriculum navigates issues close to the hearts of adolescents, and careful, empathic listening and questioning are necessary. Knowing how to gently probe or facilitate youth's sharing requires patience. These skills develop in the context of care and trust. Co-leadership makes connecting to individual youth possible. Knowing more about youth who seem reluctant to participate or are quiet during discussions is important in order to sensitively cater the program to meet group needs. Co-leaders can share the responsibility of facilitating the group and reaching out to individuals effectively.
The photo-documentary project requires some basic knowledge of photography and display. Although familiarity with camera use is helpful, it is not a requisite for leadership. Enlisting the help of someone who is willing to consult as needed will provide enough support for the photo-documentary project.
Sharing Leadership with Youth
Many of the segments of the sessions can be ably led by youth. Youth leadership builds participants' ownership and investment in the processes and activities of the sessions. It also nurtures youth's developing abilities to lead and take initiatives. Simple activities that require little preparation, such as lighting the chalice, greeting participants at the start of the session, or acting as scribe during group generation of ideas, can be done easily by youth of all ages. There are many ways to involve youth in leadership, including:
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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