Opportunities abound for middle school and high school kids to strengthen their leadership skills through training and volunteer days. Teens can serve as youth leaders in their community and bring The Friendship Circle’s philosophy into their high schools.
Kids Who Care:
Kids Who Care is a learning and leadership program for 6th and 7th graders who want to join together to understand inclusion and the importance of expanding opportunitiesfor all in the community. This program provides an opportunity for our middle school friends to dip their toes in advocacy, leadership, and community involvement at an early age. Each session culminates in a Kids Who Care Volunteer Day planned and executed by the kids involved in the program, which is a chance for participants to use what they learned to take action in their own community and work together to make a difference.
Training Tracks & Teen Workshops:
Training Tracks and Teen Workshops are comprised of training and discussions regarding inclusion, providing insight into ableism and the need for social justice regarding disability. We talk about the challenges that people with disabilities have faced throughout history, the rights they fought for, and the perceptions our society has of people who are “different.” Throughout these courses, teens share an interactive educational experience by discussing and asking questions. In order to understand where we’re going, we have to know where we’ve been. Using these educational and experiential learning opportunities, our teen members will be poised to contribute to The Friendship Circle’s mission of inclusion – and their world – in new ways now and as they grow.
Teen Leadership Board:
An important part of the mission of The Friendship Circle since day one has been to engage teenagers not only in positive and welcoming social interactions but also in community service and advocacy. Teenagers of every ability face significant pressures in school, at home, and beyond, and oftentimes, those daily pressures can make teens feel isolated and misunderstood. Our goal is to help teens become role models to younger kids and develop as leaders in their communities, especially as they approach a time when they will set out on their own journeys. We want them to overcome any isolation they may feel and be embraced in their community, becoming more well-rounded individuals in the process. With the right encouragement and tools, teens can make a powerful impact on the world and bring about necessary changes for the good of everyone.
Our Teen Leadership Board plays an important role in our Friendship & Leadership initiative, as the teens involved are role models not only at The Friendship Circle but also in their schools and communities. The Teen Leadership Board meets regularly throughout the school year, and each session offers a different opportunity to learn and discuss various topics surrounding advocacy and social justice. Participants of all abilities are welcome, as always, and they are asked to fulfill certain requirements prior to joining the Board: they must have attended our Training Tracks classes and Teen Workshop seminars, previously served on a Host Committee (which plan and execute programs), and have been active members of The Friendship Circle.