By Lt. Col. Ralph Gracia
YOUTH STAND TALL…A Leadership Component to Caring and Teaching!
Caring and teaching is what the “Youth Stand Tall (YST)” is all about. YST is a service program that instills ownership, commitment, and devotion to all our students. It is wonderful to witness them helping other students get through challenges. I am impressed with the program as it empowers our students to emerge as valuable leaders in our school and community. At the core of this program, students are receiving skills to be great leaders and help each other through their struggles. This innovative program has implemented the key components to support all students, valuing an environment that respects the diverse perspective of students’ voices to be creative and build from their ideas. In the end, having a total commitment to maintaining high standards of expectations and support understanding using skills they have developed and learned to mentor others.
YST has the essential components to promote leadership skills necessary to survive in an ever-changing environment. At Franklin K. Lane Educational Campus, students pride themselves in their ability to take charge. Some of our YST leaders feel passionate and committed to the program. YST helps students to get through high school and beyond. Raven Logan, YST Director, shares that the program has created a diverse family, something not seen in the past. The students are instilling trust and sharing their feelings and thoughts, which brings them together. The activities are exciting and provide a solid foundation for our curriculum. Sean Jones, dean of the Urban Assembly School for Collaborative and Healthcare, further adds, “YST student leaders will grow to become a united family working together to bring others along.” Cameron Frazer, dean and Parra-professional of the Academy of Innovative Techno-logy, shares, “There is a great need for it, and we also have a good number of student leaders who will undoubtedly continue making this program a success for years to come.” Tahniqua Williams, Brooklyn Lab Schools faculty member also adds “The faculty is also engaging with YST and it has been conducive to learning and leading.”
In the same venue, YST has been and will continue to be a big part of the way we operate at FKL Educational Campus and continue to emerge as more students are introduced to YST. I recognized the need to infuse YST into the school to highlight our students’ needs and at the same time be informative, productive, beneficial and fun. This program is a systemic support nurturing my campus and students with a sense of synergy and ultimately connects them to our campus, community and the lovely Nation we serve…reaching for the stars ~ Stand up, Transform, Achieve, Rejoice, and Succeed!