Leadership Training for Berks County Youth

Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

Spark the Wave is a non-profit organization that empowers teens through educational programs to be great volunteers and community leaders. Our programs offer teens who are 13-17 years old leadership training in areas such as communication, group dynamics, and leadership, as well as diversity education. Most importantly, Spark the Wave inspires teens to make a difference in their communities. I am currently a senior at Albright College in Reading, PA. Because I'm an education major, I've had the opportunity to observe in several of the schools here. Most importantly, I've worked in an urban middle school that does its best to educate its diverse and underpriviledged students. I would love to bring Spark the Wave's programs to these students.Spark the Wave's two main programs include individual seminars for schools and community groups and a 6-day summer workshop called WAVE Week. WAVE Week offers teens the opportunity to spend a week in intensive leadership training with a service focus. Delegates at WAVE Week are taught how to apply this training to needs in their own communities. Seminars offer schools and community groups like the Girl Scouts the opportunity to train a larger group of youth on more focused issues in a shorter time. Spark the Wave staff members travel to these groups and provide training after school and on the weekends. Last year, I was able to nominate one student from the middle school I was working in to attend WAVE Week. His mom told me that no one had ever recognized him for anything before, and he thanked me for giving him the opportunity to even attend WAVE Week. Throughout the week I watched as this normally quiet student began to build relationships with others, lead in small group settings, and offer insight into important discussions. I watched WAVE Week change him.This year, I'm working to be able to provide this chance for more students from this same urban school. I'm working to bring more Reading teens to WAVE Week through fundraising efforts within the community. Because Spark the Wave's main focus is in the geographic area between DC and Philadelphia, I know that my efforts will bring these same wonderful programs to the students in Berks County, PA, just outside of our main efforts. When I helped start Spark the Wave about 4 years ago, I knew I was involved in something important. Now that I am the Board Secretary, I've enjoyed seeing how Spark the Wave's programs have grown and expanded under our dedicated volunteers. I want to take Spark the Wave just one step farther. For more information on how you can get involved with Spark the Wave or how we can train youth in your community, visit www.sparkthewave.org or email me at [edited by DS Staff]

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