The Clark Middle Middle School Leadership Fellows Junior Program began as a collaboration the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) College of Business and Public Policy’s (CBPP) Leadership Fellows Program with is a co-curricular mentoring program for MPA/MBA and senior-level undergraduate students who are committed to leadership development. CBPP’s Leadership Fellows program (LFP) prepares fifteen exceptional students (ten MBA/MPA and five senior-level undergraduates) to be future leaders who meet the needs of Alaska organizations though leadership, professional development, and mentoring. An important component of the LFP program and CBPP’s strategic initiative is community engagment.
The CBPP Fellows are required to complete a community service learning project in order to graduate from the LFP with honors. Therefore, establishing a partnership with Clark Middle School to support their youth leadership development efforts via CBPP’s Leadership Fellows program will support this requirement, but more importantly, it will expand both CBPP’s Leadership Fellows and Clark Middle School students’ leadership capibilties.
In collaboration with Clark Middle School, CBPP’s Leadership Fellows (14 students) and Dr. Nelson will establish CBPP’s Leadership Fellows Junior Program that will facilitate youth obtaining additional knowledge and skills they need to become productive leaders in their home, school, and community. The Leadership Fellows will assist in establishing the program and facilitating leadership sessions.
This project aligns with the ENGAGE social issue – Education for Youth Success. While this particular issue area “aims its focus on early childhood education programs in Alaska”, it also states, “the more time and effort put into supporting and educating children as they grow, the more successful community members they will become.” According to research, leadership development programs positively influences youth and their perspectives on life. Wingenbach and Kahler (1997) research suggest students can increase their leadership skills in communication, decision making, team work, interpersonal, and self-awareness by actively participating in leadership development programs.
In summary, developing a leadership mindset in youths will facilitate young leaders in obtaining scholarships, achieving admission to college, existing successfully in college life, excelling in the work environment, and lastly, being a productive citizen in their community.