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Home > Teen Blog > February 2019 > We Are All Leaders!
We Are All Leaders!
Posted: 2/4/2019 10:00:00 AM

Intrepid Teen Blog

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by Carmen M. — GOALS Ambassador

Through educational programs offered at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum including GOALS for Girls and the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), I’ve had the opportunity to learn what leadership means to me. A leader is a positive influence on others, willing to collaborate with people and determined to complete the task at hand.

Young people often question our ability of when we should take charge. We can be hesitant about getting out of our comfort zones, which holds us back from taking initiative to manage and organize a team. That’s one of the skills YLI is helping young people develop. In YLI, high school juniors and seniors grow as individuals by sharpening public speaking skills, collaborating with peers and being exposed to new and exciting things. As a participant of this program, I talked to new people and took field trips to strengthen my leadership skills. For example, we repaired the “Peace Wall” mural at the Jacob H. Schiff Playground to help Cityarts, a non-profit that uses art to get kids involved in their communities. I was assigned to collaborate with another YLI student to chisel the parts of the mural that were damaged. Together we came up with a plan for how to do the most amount of work in the time we were given. This was a messy and tedious task, but we chiseled our way through the whole area in a timely manner.

A leader does not have to be recognized worldwide for their accomplishments. Sometimes they are only noticed by a few people for portraying the skills referenced earlier. Anyone, even a teenager, can display those qualities. Everyone is a natural-born leader but it just takes finding the right moment to show their potential.
“A leader is a positive influence on others, willing to collaborate with people and determined to complete the task at hand.”
Take Shirley Chisholm, the first elected black women to the U.S. Congress, as an example. She said, “I am and always will be a catalyst for change.” She demonstrated that if you know yourself and your potential, you will be able to create change and make an impact in your own community.

YLI hosts an activity once a month helping students to sharpen their leadership skills. So far, we have repaired a mural with Cityarts, attended the Four Freedoms Park where we discussed the liberties American citizens have and current issues, and participated in college readiness workshops. This is only the beginning of what YLI participants will be able to experience this year.

Insert Alt TextBeing a part of the Intrepid family shows teenagers how to take charge of a group and to become confident in themselves by practicing leadership skills. As the school year progresses, I am excited to see how I am able to master these skills. It would be exciting to see other young people join YLI and unlock their potential too.

Applications for the YLI program are now open for high school sophomores in NYC to apply!