Practicing Leadership Through Facilitation

By Diane Bui, Maryland High School Program Coordinator
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff

One of the most exciting leadership opportunities AALEAD youth have is the chance to serve on our yearly youth council. Youth meet on a monthly basis to discuss what they hope to accomplish in programs, and help support planning events for their fellow AALEAD peers.

This year, Maryland’s high school youth council planned high school transition panels to lead and facilitate in our middle school sites during programs. The premise and inspiration for their lesson focused on what they wish they knew about high school. Many of the 15 youth council members said that before entering high school, they wish they knew about school resource staff members, extracurricular activities, and classes to take, just to name a few.

After planning their lesson, we discussed and practiced facilitation techniques, including how to make sure the middle school youth stay engaged during all the activities they had planned. We also discussed the importance of being flexible with your time and the lesson itself, because it might not always run as smoothly as you imagine.

Both high school youth and middle school youth loved working together for the day and having the opportunity to spend program time talking with and meeting each other.

Many of the middle school youth felt much better about attending high school, and are also excited about joining AALEAD in high school! Shout out to the high school youth council members for dedicating so much time and effort to making sure our middle school youth had a wonderful, interactive lesson!


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