By Susan Vlcek, Junior Leadership Medina County Director
Consider this to be the initiation of an informal poll. OK, LMC Class of 2003: when envisioning and developing the JrLMC pilot model, how many students did you believe would participate? What did you feel the impact on high school students would be? How, if at all, did you feel the county would be impacted? What did you believe the life span of the piloted program would be?
I know we’re all 14 years older, but I know you still can feel that sense of anticipation, of possibility, of concern for being part of something that has authentic value for you and for everyone involved.
Three weeks ago JrLMC opened its leadership doors to 45 more young people. And guess what? They entered those doors feeling that same sense of anticipation, anxiousness and possibility that you piloted in late 2002. Your dream came true. And then came true again, and again, and again.
What were these crazy teenagers thinking about during their first moments together?
“I hope to make a ton of new friends and build on my strengths.”
“I hope to encourage our community by letting them see teens work in tandem towards a common goal.”
“I hope to take what I learn in JrLMC and apply it to make a difference in the lives of others.”
If you’d like to read an additional 42 equally sincere statements, stop by the office. The JrLMC Class of 2017 will renew your hope.
How do they envision impacting Medina County? Let’s start with the class projects they began developing at their opening retreat:
- Better Together: Finding ways to support various local organizations that care for children in need.
- High School Mythbusters: Help middle school students transition into high school by presenting a realistic and encouraging perspective from successful older peers.
- E4 Youth Summit: Working in conjunction with United Way of Medina County to offer 200 students countywide a 2-day event designed to build awareness of each participant’s personal strengths and then share through taking part in a day of community service.
- Here’s To Your Future!: Organize and implement a college/career fair that will provide participants with a more personal opportunity to meet with representatives of higher educational institutions, technical training and current top-ranked careers.
- Finding Hope: Hold a workshop and other activities to help peers find ways to maintain a healthy mental attitude and avoid addictions.
LMC Class of 2003, is this JrLMC vision more than you ever dreamed it would be?
Aristotle said that hope is a waking dream. The hope and passion in our young leaders is a constant source of joy and inspiration to this dreamer. I bet I’m not alone.