Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2008 Cabrini Connections Youth Leadership Council

2008 Cabrini Connections Youth Leadership Council

This week we’d like to congratulate 6 individuals rather than just one for our Student Spotlight. These 6 students will be making up the 2008-2009 Youth Leadership Council! Three students from each tutoring night, Wednesday and Thursday, were elected to the council last week by tutors and students. These students not only got up in front of tutors and their peers to give an election speech two weeks ago, but sat down in front of everyone and fielded questions last week as part of a “New England Town-Hall” style debate. Last week, democracy reigned at Cabrini Connections as everyone lined up at 3 designated polling places to cast their votes for the 3 students who they thought would best represent them on the Youth Leadership Council. Now we are proud to announce that the following individuals will comprise our 2008 YLC:

From Wednesday night:

Eboni Rivera

LaFaye Garth

DeSean Hale

From Thursday Night:

Cierria Tharpe

Sean Mayfield

Savon Clark

We are putting these youth in the spotlight because they are the future of Cabrini Connections. The ideas they bring to the Youth Leadership Council and the decisions that they make will fundamentally affect the way Cabrini Connections operates. These youth will be assisting Cabrini Connections Staff in making decisions pertaining to everything from field trip destinations and the tutoring schedule to coming up with strategies to increase youth involvement and attendance in the Winter months.

One of these 6 students will also be representing Cabrini Connections on a Regional leadership council. This council is comprised of a youth representative from each of the numerous tutor/mentor programs like Cabrini Connections around the Chicagoland area. This representative will not only earn the opportunity to make decisions that affect youth all around Chicago, but he/she will also receive $200/month to reward their leadership.

Congratulations Eboni, LaFaye, DeSean, Cierria, Sean and Savon on your election victories, we’re excited to see the change you bring to Cabrini Connections in the year to come!

On a personal level, I'm super excited to be working with these 6 kids in the coming months, developing their leadership and communication skills and helping them successfully implement their ideas. This is my first big step towards enhancing youth participation at Cabrini Connections, as I discussed in a post last month http://chrispip.blogspot.com/2008/10/increasing-youth-participation.html.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we work to establish a Youth Leadership Council charter that will determine the nature of the council: i.e. will there be a president, vice president...etc or will everyone's voice have equal sway. Also, must decisions be made by consensus or will a simple or 2/3 majority be enough. We will also be determining recall procedures, should council members fail to follow through with their campaign promises and the exact purview of the council...all very important in getting the kids to really understand both their individual roles in the council as well as the council's role at Cabrini Connections. This is truly an exciting time.

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