Pictured above: CLIMB Youth Leadership Institute visit to the California African-American Museum (CAAM) as Part II in a learning session on Flexibility and Empathy (photo by Zsanae)
The CLIMB Youth Leadership Institute (CYLI), developed by Tiffani Saxton (Program Coordinator) and Ray Cahill (CLIMB VP), is designed to promote and cultivate leadership skills in 6th, 7th, and 8th graders through workshops, self-exploration, and service.
As we head into the 6th week, we are elated to see the great response and feedback from the community as we continue to lend programs within the realm of youth development and mentorship. Through exposure to a wide-array of young progressionals as well as various interactive learning techniques, CLIMB is determined to make a difference in our community, servicing the at-risk youth.
The program consist of 40 minority students from 8 different middle schools from Inglewood and South LA. It has been our challenge to continue to motivate the students, maintain their participation, and work to assess their need and CLIMB’s effectiveness; what once was a sheer idea, became a reality with the blessing of a partnership with the University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business).
Fast forward through countless meetings, curriculum development, research, and student outreach, the CYLI was blessed to have 50+ young professionals “step to the plate” and not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Introduced to the program in the 1st Quarter General Body Meeting, many of the CLIMB supporters were compelled to lend their time and knowledge to the vision of the youth leadership program: week by week, the diverse group of volunteers construct and deliver lectures, presentations, and interactive activities to help teach + motivate the students to be future leaders!
As the program enters the second half, the volunteer staff will work with the students to develop presentations that will help to sharpen their public speaking skills as they highlight a [selected] business/community leader. Once completed, the students will take part in a culmination and acknowledged as CLIMB Ambassadors and be challenged to display leadership skills in the classroom and in their community.
The CLIMB Youth Leadership Institute is a true testament to the model and method of service that aligns with the vision of the organization: change through exposure, developing relationships, and being an influence to the at-risk youth. Although CLIMB is active with various community initiatives, the core programs shows the potential of what we can do as young professionals when we aim to make a difference. It is my true belief that young professionals (primarily the “educated” population) are the greatest asset to the community…and with that, it is my purpose to create such a vehicle that allows for that demographic of people to lend their time, knowledge, and resources to our very own community: send the elevator back down.
This is only a slice of the solution, a few steps in the ultimate journey, and we shall continue to CLIMB!