Fifteen area students from several local high schools are learning career exploration and preparation through the Student Leadership Academy at Sauk Valley Community College. The Leadership Academy is divided up into three separate sessions that concentrate on training youth to be strong leaders in their communities.
The first session is entitled “Why College? Why Not?” The day is filled with college readiness information and offers several interactive exercises to engage the youth on this important topic. “It is important that youth know what resources are available. Too many times, youth don’t consider post-secondary training due to perceived cost, lack of moral support or even lack of self-confidence. We are here to dispel those myths and help each student identify and pursue their dreams,” stated Jill Larson, coordinator of the Leadership Academy program.
The second day, “Making Work, Work” is focused on career exploration and readiness. Topics include: mock interviews, an etiquette lunch, resume writing and filling out applications. The goal is to help students market their individual skills to potential employers and successfully gain employment.
The final academy session, “Lead the Way,” will be held in April and allows students to experience leadership first hand. The students are going to identify a need in the community and work together to develop a plan to assist that need. “We are very pleased with the students we have attending this program. They are energetic, inquisitive and ready to make a difference,” states Larson.Students that participate must be a junior or senior, maintain a “C” average or above, and have previously taken or currently take at least once career and technical education course.