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Youth Leadership Development

Dear Fellow ALFers,

As our class project, Class VI envisioned and created an adaptation of ALF for Sacramento youth called Teen ALF.  In our first year, we hosted 16 high school students at Grizzly Camp in Portola for four days.    Over the years, this program has evolved, by expanding the number of young people and community organizations with whom we partnered, and also by providing venues for the students to apply the leadership skills they learned at camp.  

Each year following the camp and commencement activities, I return to Sacramento with renewed urgency wondering how to reach more than the 40 or so students that we annually work with and use the experience to positively impact the lives of our young people.

  1. We will provide leadership training for 500 incoming freshman representing six comprehensive high schools!  Also included will be 5 adults (teachers, counselors, etc.) from each school.  The program will shift from the mountains to 3 days/2 nights at CSUS and link in content to other initiatives of the school district.  This will occur July 31-August 2.
  2. From the 500, 75 of the best students will be selected to participate in an advanced leadership camp at Grizzly Ranch Camp in October.   We see these 75 young people as future change agents at their schools and in their communities.  They would also be expected to become trainers in the program in ensuing years (we have always had 'returning youth' participate in the planning and implementation of the program.)
  3. Our third main partner in this endeavor, the Youth Development Network, will provide technical assistance and professional development in youth development at the school sites this fall.

Our goal in taking this program to scale is to reach a tipping point - if we are successful after four years we will have provided training to 2,000 high school students (with advanced training for 300) and hundreds of adults in the education system!  All told, our goals are nothing short of supporting a culture change in our high schools to one that is more heavily weighted towards youth development and promoting youth leadership, voice and engagement.  We specifically want to help cultivate the next generation of Sacramento's leaders.

My classmate Alice Perez, and I recently went to the ALF board along with one of our participating youth to request a formal partnership with ALF based on the thought that youth leadership fits in with ALF’s mission and core values.  The Board reacted positively and now we need your help (please keep reading, this is not a request for money - I've already taken care of that, raising over $320,000 to fund this initiative this year!).  One of the significant factors that makes our project unique among youth leadership programs is the participation of (non-youth provider professional) adults as role models.  We need 50 adults who are willing to spend three days and two nights with us at Sacramento State.  I promise an experience you will never forget.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me directly -, 916.752.2609.  

All my best,

Jay Schenirer, Class VI
Sacramento City Councilmember

American Leadership Forum - Mountain Valley Chapter
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