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NORTH VALLEY FAMILY YMCA at PORTER RANCH11336 Corbin Avenue Northridge, CA 91326
DescriptionWhat is Youth Council Leaders Club?The North Valley Family YMCA Youth Council Leaders Club engages young people, grades 6-8, in a student-led forum that helps them gain leadership skills and allows them to contribute in civic, community and service learning. Participants will have the opportunity to build strong relationship, gain a sense of belonging and achieve more academically. In addition, participants will be able to complete volunteer hours and give back to their community. In this program we develop confidence, leadership, civic engagement, service learning, community involvement and public speaking skills. The Youth Council Leaders Club forums will discuss, plan, advocate and implement projects that address the needs of their community and school and that support the YMCA?s cause of ?Strengthening the Foundations of Community? through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
What are the two components of this program?This program has two components: School Focus and YMCA Focus. The school focus is the larger arch of this program, compromising of a student-Chair, student officers a paid YMCA Staff Advisor (to provide leadership, guidance, management and supervision) and a teacher sponsor. The School Focus component of this program meets once a week, on-campus, at lunch time, at local middle schools. In these meetings participants will have time to engage with peers and build relationships, plan school and community service projects, make recommendations based on school and community needs and develop leadership skills through activities, resources, guest speakers and workshops.
The YMCA focus is the over-arching program, comprised of Youth Council Leaders Club members from across the community. This component of the program is called the Assembly. The Assembly is a monthly gathering of student-chairs and representatives from each middle school or branch-based Youth Council Leaders Club. The Assembly is a think-tank and brainstorming group, working for the benefit of the community and local schools, on a larger scale. Leadership, guidance, management and supervision for the Assembly are provided by a paid YMCA Staff Advisor.
In addition to school-based Youth Council Leaders Club, we also offer a branch-based Youth Council Leaders Club at the North Valley Family YMCA for both middle and high school students who do not attend a middle school where we host this program. The branch-based Youth Council Leaders Club is an extension of our Junior Leaders Summer Day Camp.
When and where does this program meet?The school-based Youth Council Leaders Club meets once a week at lunch time, on campus at specific middle school locations. Please check with the Teen Department to see which middle schools in the North Valley Region are hosting this program.
The branch-based Youth Council Leaders Club meets at the North Valley Family YMCA once a week, Thursday evenings.
The Youth Council Leaders Club Assembly meets once a month, here at the North Valley Family YMCA. This meeting is for student-Chairs and 2-3 appointed representatives only, from each middle school or branch-based Youth Council Leaders Club. At the time that a student declares their candidacy for student-Chair, they will be required to complete an ?Expectations of Student-Chair? Agreement and have it signed by the parent. The Agreement will include dates for all monthly Assembly meetings. Assembly meetings generally take place once a month, at the North Valley Family YMCA or a Saturday or Sunday morning. Assembly Representatives and student-Vice Chairs from each Youth Council Leaders Club will be required to complete a similar agreement.
What are the time and transportation commitments?For the students, we host meetings once a week. For a school-based Youth Council Leaders Club, meetings happen during lunch time on a school-day. For the North Valley Family YMCA branch Youth Council Leaders Club, meetings happen Thursday evenings at the Y. If student participants are also a part of Assembly, there is an additional meeting, off-site at the North Valley Family YMCA once a month or less (typically on a Saturday or Sunday morning). Some of the volunteer hour opportunities and community service projects take place off-site. In this case, parent is responsible to ensure that the student is transported to the location and picked up at the end.
What are the benefits of being a part of the Youth Council Leaders Club?Make new friends, build strong relationships, find a sense of belonging and increase academic achievements. The Youth Council Leaders Club is a place for all. In addition, we are not bound to academic grade eligibility standards, which means that under-served youth have access to leadership opportunities. Research has shown that when youth are given leadership responsibilities and participate in service learning and volunteer opportunities, there is an increase in their self-esteem and self-confidence, which increases their academic performance. At the Y, we are for youth development and it is our goal to help youth reach their full potential.