4 Cs Leadership Program – Spring 2012:

The 4Cs Leadership Program was developed by the LLC and sponsored by a grant from the ISU Leadership Consortium. 4 Cs stands for Cooperation, Character, Communication and Creativity. The program was designed as a leadership development program for 14- 18 year old youth who attended Ryves Youth Center. Ryves is part of Catholic Charities in Terre Haute, IN. and services many “at risk” children. LLC members were given the opportunity to help facilitate the different leadership activities.

The goal of the program was to teach leadership skills to the older youth at Ryves. Ryves Hall staff hoped the program could help identify potential leaders, develop new ideas for programming, identify ways of improving the facility, and in general enhance the experience youth have at the center. All Ryves youth between the ages of 14 - 18 were invited to participate in this program. The grant money was used in part for 4Cs t-shirts, Leadership notebooks, activity supplies, books, weekly snacks and certificates. A team of LLC facilitators met weekly with the Ryves hall teens over the course of three weeks. The teens participated in a variety of leadership activities for 1 hours each week. The LLC facilitators would begin each week’s activities with team builders so that students and facilitators could get to know each other and start to value teamwork. Then the facilitators would engage the students in two or three activities to encourage communication, character development, problem solving, respect and/or civility. At the conclusion of each activity, the facilitators would help the participants’ process out each activity.

The teens learn the importance of cooperation and how important it is to talk problems out with others. When asked what they had learned from the program, here are some of their responses:

- Learned about other people’s thoughts                                                                                                                                                                              - That communication is important                                                                                                                                                                                         - I enjoyed learning about others                                                                                                                                                                                         - Working by yourself is not always great                                                                                                                                                                             - Need to get along                                                                                                                                                                                                               - Had to have teamwork and communicate to succeed                                                                                                                                                         - It is important to be nice to others and work with them                                                                                                                                                    - Everyone gave good ideas                                                                                                                                                                                                 - It is important not to laugh at others                                                                                                                                                                                 - Communicating helps get stuff done                                                                                                                                                                                  - It takes teamwork to work on things together                                                                                                                                                                   - Coming up with a plan together helped                                                                                                                                                                              - Cooperating is important

LLC volunteers enjoyed the experience of sharing their leadership knowledge, leading the activities, role modeling leadership and interacting with the teens. They learned that maturity and development levels are not necessarily based on age.