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Building youth leadership for the future

December 30, 2012
By Gustavo Estrada , Marshall Independent

After working several years with young people I learned how important it is for them to have experience with leadership.

Building youth leadership is something important for those that work with youth. As I have said before; because they believe that they are the future of us. Those people that work with them want them to be prepared to represent their group, their community and their country, etc.

When you work with youth you want to help them to build their skills, skills that help them to build trust, understand the purpose of leadership to empower, to free up and to serve. It is without forgetting that they have to treat people with respect, dignity and be honest.

Working with youth leadership you will see that some already bring the voice that will represent them and will give them the power of involvement, participation and encourage them to improve in their leadership.

But to understand more about how a youth leader feels and how they understand what leadership is I asked Marlen Cervantes and Mohamed Abdullahi, Marshall High School students who are in the Cultures In Power group, to tell us what youth leadership means to them.

Marlen says, "Leadership to me means stepping up and carving a path and guiding people to accomplish the same goal or reach the same expectation.

"To me it means finding a way to get things done in the most successful way. As a youth leadership is very important because I know that acquiring leadership skills is the key to success. I believe that through leadership I can obtain a voice in my community. Often times we are ignored just for being young, but by engaging in our community and standing up as leaders we let our voices be heard. Although we are the future, our engagement in the community starts now and it is today that we begin our journey as leaders."

Mohamed participates also in Youth Advisory Council from the Alliance with Youth as Marlen Cervantes too. Mohamed tells us what is leadership for him is:

"Leadership to me is someone who is not afraid to let people hear his/her voice. To me I believe that is an important part in becoming a leader. I feel that someone also have to show courage and compassion. It is tough to follow people but is a lot tougher to lead.

"I was chosen to become a youth leader for the district where I live in (District 7). I was really excited to have a chance to do something for my district. I never would have thought I would join such an astonishing group that really cares for our state. I also know that is a big responsibility to be one of the leaders in our district. It's not my voice that the youth council will need is yours. I am just one of you guys trying to help our state in anyway. Thank you for your voice in helping our district and our state."

These two feel the power in them the same as other young people. They see that we as people that work with them, we need to start building leaders since they are young; providing them leaning skills to be a good leader.

They think that they need to be included in civic engagement and have the opportunity to participate in the future of their life. They recognize that to be a leader is not a job of one person but to include others, and it is to represent without forgetting that to be a leader the focus is on learning the skills to have success.

 
 

 

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