Youth Leadership Program


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Virginia Tech


Providing elementary students with meaningful opportunities to learn and practice essential leadership skills can benefit youth and the society in which they will grow, live and contribute. Based on the idea that youth leadership programs rarely target fourth and fifth grade youth, this project offers an educational resource to support the exploration of teaching transformational leadership in a safe, elementary school environment. The purpose of the project is (a) to gather expert opinion data on youth leadership programs offered, (b) to provide a youth leadership development resource for educators, (c) to evaluate the “Invest in Yourself” youth leadership lesson plan components, and (d) describe insights about the transformational approach of modeling leadership, and if it is feasible for teachers to employ. The results include: (a) the opinion that there is a need for additional youth leadership development programs locally, (b) key leadership development skills currently being taught in 4th and 5th grade elementary school classrooms are teamwork, goal setting, and effective communication, (c) experts confirm the “Invest in Yourself” educational resource objectives are accurate, and (d) recommendations for improvement of the “Invest in Yourself” youth leadership development resource.