Tap into your inner leader at the upcoming QC Teen Leadership Academy Feb. 9 in Moline.|
"Strong leadership skills open many, many doors," said Diane Baker, 4-H Metro Youtheducator, University of Illinois Extension 4-H, which is hosting the event with the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and a couple of students from Augustana College.
This year's program is open to 60 teens, ages 14 to 18 in eighth grade through high school. It will give participants the opportunity to discover leadership styles and skills through community service geared toward a variety of fields such as science, engineering, communication, the arts, technology, agriculture, nutrition, wellness, marketing and more.
"We'll be identifying leadership styles, exploring communication skills and building
teamwork, all skills that are important in most anything that you do," Ms. Baker said.
Participating teens also will explore a variety of leadership roles to be able to get involved in
Leadership camps such as this give"teens theopportunity to learn about themselves and realize that no matter what type of person they are,they can be a leader," said Amber Dalgaard, of Antioch, Ill., one of the Augustana students helping to plan the retreat.
"A leader comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and that is not a bad thing."
Augie student Allison Hupfer, of Cedarburg, Wis., said everyone can be a leader, "but it's always good to fine-tune or discoverwho you are as aleader."
Ms. Hupfer said in today's society, taking leadership roles is crucial for teens to help them stand out among their peers.
The Leadership Academy will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 9 at Western Illinois University's Riverfront campus, 3300 River Drive, Moline. The cost is $20, which includes lunch, snacks and program supplies. Half-fee and full scholarships are available upon request.
Teens who participate in the event will be invitedto teach a workshop at theStudents Interested in Technology (SIT) conference that will be held in East Moline in late February.
"We'll provide the curriculum and the 'how-tos' – but teens will do the teaching and
provide the fun," Ms. Baker said.
Participating teens also may volunteer with4-H, or get involved with planningfuture Teen Leadership Academy events and activities and more.
"This is very much geared to a 'youth led, youth driven' model, so teen voice is very
important," Ms. Baker said.
Augie students Ms. Dalgaard and Ms. Hupfer said they attended many youth leadership seminars in their teen years that helped them to realize their strengths, weaknesses and more.
"I hope the participants come away with more than just thinking they had a fun day,"
Ms. Hupfer said.
"They should feel that they can make a difference not just in school or (the) smallactivities that they participate (in), but they could be the next person who creates a new campaignabout anything they believe in."
For more information, call(309) 756-9978 or visithttps://webs.extension.uiuc.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=7721.
Sara Clifton, of Coal Valley, attends St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
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