By Ari Pak, MD High School Program Coordinator
Photos Courtesy of Ari Pak
The MD High School Youth Council is in full swing for 2015! After an intensive selection process, nine AALEADers earned a place in the Youth Council. The MD High School Youth Council has many roles, the largest of which is to plan the Annual APA Youth Summit every summer and to steer AALEAD high school programming with their peer’s feedback and input.
In the two weeks preceding the first Youth Council meeting, many youth participated in interviews for a spot on MD’s Youth Council. The number of youth who interviewed exemplified the high level of commitment and initiative that AALEAD youth take. During interviews, youth had a chance to enumerate on their views of leadership, contemporary social issues, and their goals for AALEAD.
After much intensive review of candidates, nine AALEADers were extended a formal offer to join a MD High School Youth Council Welcome Brunch! At the Welcome Brunch, AALEADers from different schools had the chance to learn about each other and share their goals for themselves and the group. They created a vision board, which described their leadership values and goals as the MD High School Youth Council for 2015. Their vision statement captures the core of their goals: “AALEAD by Youth for the Youth: One Step at a Time.” The MD High School Youth Council is a chance for AALEADers to step into leadership and have AALEAD be exactly what they need and want it to be.
One theme apparent throughout the entire meeting was the commitment of each Youth Council member. Each youth spoke about the ways that they wanted to contribute to AALEAD and support other peers in developing their leadership. Their willingness to take on such responsibility for the success of their AALEAD programs exemplifies how each of them are already great leaders. I excitedly look forward to the wonderful leadership that the Youth Council members will provide for their peers and all of AALEAD.