Youth Leaders Are our Future

Youth Leaders Are our Future

Contributing Authors, Scott J, Brook, Sinan Kassim, Khushi Desai

 I love being a Father of five and mentoring young people in our community. I am completely present to the power of our youth and the impact they have. Currently, many youth in our community are connecting virtually for a fun educational experience through Project Leadership. This program is sponsored by PNA (Premier Networking Alliance)! We are approaching our 38th program and we have supported the development of about 2,000 teenagers since 2003.

For the past 17 years, Project Leadership has been fundamental to the personal development and self confidence of many high school and middle school students. The program was started in 2003 when an 11 – year old student, Ian Harris, brought the idea to me when I was a City Commissioner. I began the program with the help of two young people, Cindy Amaya and Jeannette Garcia, and several other volunteers, and my partner Dr. Cliff Fruithandler.

Ever since, with the support of many adult mentors, including David Pollack, Judy Kissel, Morella Villavicencio, Glenn Stout and Mitch Summer, Project Leadership has inspired large groups of youth to expand their knowledge about real-world topics in an exciting environment.

Project Leadership also connects youth to adult mentors who are eager to give back to the community by sharing their life experiences, careers and wisdom. Despite COVID-19, Project Leadership is continuing its mission by finding innovative ways to connect virtually.

Project Leadership is a student-run organization with the guidance of adult mentors. Students lead all areas of planning Project Leadership conventions including logistics, marketing and organizational management. Our current President is Nicole Sanchez, an incoming freshman at Coral Glades High School. Our program empowers youth to continue to develop as leaders and give back to their communities.

“Project Leadership is a program that has prompted my personal development and has given me an opportunity to give back to the community through the best version of myself. I have made irreplaceable connections throughout the city and countless friends that bring me so much joy. This program is truly unique.” – Nicole Sanchez, President of Project Leadership

“Project leadership has opened gateways of opportunities for me. I have met so many new people, and formed so many relationships. At our most recent convention ( not on zoom) we had an activity where we had people put something they needed advice for in a jar, and a random person picked it out and gave them advice. It really felt like a safe place, and people really got the help they needed with their problem. Helping people is a huge part of project leadership.

We have had many speakers that spoke about topics. One talked about gang violence, one talked about public speaking, and many more topics. I have learned so much and it has helped me and others become a better leader in the community. I am beyond thankful for Project Leadership.” – Gianna Thomas, Vice President

The Project Leadership team is excited for the next Project Leadership Convention open to all students in September! The student team is committed to ensuring an excellent experience for all youth attendees. For more information, contact Scott Brook at [email protected] or Amanda Leotaud at 954-757-5551.

 Website www.pnanetwork.org/projectleadership