2017 Leadership Academy Round-Up: Part 3

Carolyn Jolivette, Executive Director of Ask for More Jackson, had glowing comments about the Leadership Academy interns and expressed her pride in them and all of their hard work.

“The culminating event for the Leadership Academy embodied so much of what the students had learned over the course of these last few months,” she said. “I was filled with pride by the way they exemplified the meaning of community as they demonstrated what leadership really means. The students were engaging, knowledgeable, and far more in tuned to the adults and to each other than many individuals much older than them. I was once again reminded that our young people have so much to offer, and if we allow them to lead, they will not disappoint. They also help us learn so much about who they are as well as learn about ourselves.

The Leadership Academy provides our young people with space to grow in ways that reflect their individual leadership styles. Many of them come to this work with preconceived notions of what they can do. It pushes them to enhance their skills and to develop abilities to lead in ways they may never have considered. I believe that each of us has the ability to lead and that ability may not always show up in conventional ways and should not be defined by age. The Academy provides the opportunity to know that they are valued.

The Leadership Academy is important to young people because they begin to understand that they have so much to offer. The adults who work with them, their parents, and the community begin to understand that by listening to our youth and by putting aside preconceived notions about them, that we have much to learn from them. Consequently, our young people learn the value of their history and true meaning of the role of community, as valued and contributing members. They learn the true meaning of UBUNTU—I am because we are.”