Developing Leaders

How the YMCA is Developing Leaders of Tomorrow

The Y believes a confident teen today creates a contributing and engaged adult tomorrow! Programs like the Y’s Teen Leaders Club provide opportunities for kids to get involved and develop a positive sense of self. The club is offered to teens in grades 7–12, and allows them to meet new people, build relationships, learn valuable skills, get involved in the community and learn what it truly means to be a leader.

Teen leaders attend regular club meetings, participate in special activities and overnight events throughout the year. The Bob Sierra Teen Leaders recently attended the YMCA Blue Ridge Leaders’ School. Cyenna Ison, a current Teen Leader at Bob Sierra, shared, “My experience at Blue Ridge Leaders’ School was something I will never forget. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go since this was my first year, and I was hesitant, but after going, I can’t wait to go back.”

“I was able to learn so much while I was there, and I got the ability to grow as a person. So, not only did my leadership skills improve, but I was able to learn how to improve my spirit, mind, and body so I could help myself and others grow too. On top of that, it was so nice to be able to meet new people with the same mindset of wanting to make our community better and grow with them throughout the week. Overall it was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend anyone to go if they get the chance,” shares Cyenna.

How the YMCA is Developing Leaders of Tomorrow
Cyenna Ison at the Blue Ridge Leader’s School retreat.

Since being founded in 1922 the Blue Ridge Leader’s School has retained its tradition of developing teen leaders in all aspects of the YMCA’s physical education along with instilling the core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. The Bob Sierra Teen Leaders club has attended Blue Ridge Leaders’ School since 1986.

“Our tradition and legacy is strong; we’re grateful to be a part of the YMCA. Bob Sierra received Level Three Recognition at the School Celebration tonight. This requires 100 hours of service per Blue Ridge attendee, taking minutes of our meetings, a review of our constitution and bylaws, and several other requirements. Bob Sierra is one of two clubs in the Tampa Association to receive recognition. For that honor, we are very proud,” states Brittany Lindsay, Teen Leaders Club Advisor for Bob Sierra YMCA.

Brittany is grateful to serve the teens in the Bob Sierra Leaders’ Club and reflects on her time at Blue Ridge Leaders’ School. “I want to make sure we have the most impactful program. I look back and question what we need and want to make our club the most successful one possible on the mountain and throughout the year. The three pillars Spirit, Mind and Body are the standards that we need to strive to achieve.”

Throughout the year, the teen leaders will work to achieve a healthy spirit by volunteering, a healthy mind by learning with their peers in a space that allows them to be honest and vulnerable and a healthy body by setting physical development goals.

Learn more about the Y’s Teen Leaders Club today!

*Presented by the YMCA