While for almost 25 years I have taken pride in being a Howard County resident, it was almost immediately upon entering LHC class of 2009 when I realized the experience would literally change my life. In recognizing that great leaders do not operate in their own strength, it is comforting to have such an amazing treasure chest of tools and resources of countless possibilities. Not to mention, newfound relationships that I will forever cherish.
Lead the Way, Have Fun, Make a Difference!
As an integral part of its mission, Leadership Howard County seeks to be the critical force in training the next generation of leaders. In 1996, Leadership U was launched to provide our youth with the opportunity to gain important leadership skills and firsthand experience in participating in community service.
Leadership U is a four-month program and consists of the following components:
- A week-long summer program of team building, leadership skills development, tours of county facilities, and identification of issues affecting youth in Howard County.
- A fall session focusing on community service projects that are created and implemented by the students.
- A Shadow Day, which provides students the opportunity to spend a day with a selected community or business leader to observe leadership in action, and gain firsthand knowledge on how businesses and organizations function.
Designed for students entering their junior year in high school, the Leadership U program empowers students to learn by doing. Students work in teams to discuss, reflect upon and develop solutions for problems that affect them and their peers in the community. They also develop mentoring relationships with adult community leaders, learn about Howard County’s government, businesses and services, and hone their presentation skills.
Howard County’s Leadership U is one of only two county-wide youth leadership programs in Maryland.
Who’s in Leadership U?
Leadership U is open to high school sophomores (or equivalents who are home-schooled) who live in Howard County. Students may attend public or private school, or be home-schooled.
Students must have a desire to learn about their community and a willingness to volunteer. LU is a great way to meet new people from different schools who share similar interests in knowing more about their community, and who want to make a positive impact.
Students are invited to apply during sophomore year, with the program beginning in July and concluding in December of the junior year. Participants are selected based on a written application and personal interview.
For additional information on Leadership U programs or applications, contact Diane Freedman, Director of Youth Programs, at 410-730-4474, x115, or Dfreedman@LeadershipHC.org
Leadership U Schedule
The program kicks off in July with daily sessions of teambuilding and learning activities. The Leadership U schedule works for many busy students, even those who have fall sports or other activities.
(A detailed Class Schedule will be posted by June 1, 2013)
Part I: The Summer Session: July 21 - 26, 2013
Students are required to attend each day of the summer session.
Days 1-2. Students attend a 1 and 1/2-day team building session (not an overnight retreat) during which students engage in problem-solving exercises to learn about leadership and team development.
Day 3. Students learn about leadership qualities and values, and cultural diversity. They may take a personality inventory test to learn about their own leadership styles and how to work with other people.
Day 4-5. Students take field trips to various county government facilities, selected industries, and service organizations to learn about community services and issues facing our county.
Day 6. Students brainstorm about problems impacting our community with a particular focus on youth. They choose issues of importance and create teams to begin their problem-solving work. Each team has an adult mentor to help guide them through their service project.
Part II: The Fall Session
Beginning in August, student teams meet with their mentor regularly twice a month on Sunday afternoons) to design and implement their project. They may make site visits to research their chosen issue, engage in role play to better understand problems, or meet with community leaders to explore their ideas. As a result, the student teams prepare real solutions to their chosen project.
In October, students participate in “Shadow Day,” during which they spend a day with a business or community leader to observe and be a part of leadership in action.
At the graduation ceremony in December, each team presents the results of its group project, and presents the process of solving community problems as a group. The ceremony is attended by parents, school principals, Leadership Howard County participants, and civic and business leaders in the community.
Volunteer Opportunties: How You Can Help
If you enjoy working with high school students, and want to help a motivated group of students make an impact on their community, please consider getting involved with Leadership U. There are several ways that your time and interest will really make a difference:
Become a Mentor
As part of their leadership development, students work in teams and design their own community service projects. Adult mentors work closely with the teams, helping guide their efforts to produce valuable contributions to the community. Teams meet twice a month on Sunday afternoons (from 2 - 4:30 pm) for 9 weeks, from August through December. Our teens are extremely bright, energetic and dedicated to learning about community service. Mentoring our students is an extremely rewarding experience.
MoreMFor information or to volunteer, contact Diane Freedman at 410-730-4474 x115, or Dfreedman@leadershiphc.org
Become a member of our Steering Committee
Help with program planning, class events and recruitment. This group creates the foundation for the program, and ensures the program continues its reputation of excellence.
Host a Student for Shadow Day
There is no better way to learn about leadership than to see it in action. Each year, students are paired with a selected community or business leader to spend the day, and observe the important decisions and issues that impact the community. If you are a leader in your business or organization and can offer this one-of-a-kind opportunity to a student, you will make an important contribution to their understanding of leadership.
Volunteer during our Summer Training Week: July 21 - 26, 2013
Our week-long summer program provides a solid foundation of teambuilding, leadership skill development, and insight into Howard County. Volunteers are needed to help chaperone at Terrapin Adventures, or assist small groups as they visit county facilities such as the Howard County Office building, the Detention Center, or Howard County General Hospital. You can also pick up and deliver lunches, or other tasks that require limited amounts of time.
Leadership U graduates are encouraged to remain involved in the program by acting as student mentors to new Leadership U students and by spearheading their own community activities following graduation. In past years, graduates have participated in Christmas in April, March of Dimes walk-a-thon, Symphony of Lights, and various activities for senior citizens.
Some LU graduates continue to stay involved in the community by serving on local nonprofit boards and providing a youth perspective. A limited number of spots are available and students are matched based on availability and interest. Through guidance and training, students learn how to contribute and become an integral member of a community board.