Professor leads youth to become leaders

In 2000, Shari Hodgson , a faculty member at the University Of Central Florida Nicholson School Of Communication, designed and facilitated a Youth Leadership Program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Winter Park.  The program celebrated its 12th year this summer.  After receiving 70 applications for the summer, the Youth Leadership Program selected 50 students from eight Central Florida High Schools to participate in June or July sessions.

The program consisted of five days, each themed to expose youth to the infrastructure of Winter Park:

·         Monday, Teambuilding, exposed youth to successful characteristics of leadership including working on teams and importance of volunteerism.

·         Tuesday, Arts and Culture, exposed youth to the cultural offerings and historical education of city.

·         Wednesday, Media and Communication, provided youth tours of the UCF Interactive Academy, Channel 6-WKMCT and the Orlando Sentinel newspaper center.

·         Thursday, Law and Government, educated youth about the infrastructures of city government, police and fire organizations, and the components of the trial process where youth acted as judges, jurors and attorneys.

·         Friday, Career Day, had youth interact with myriad professionals in a round robin style format that ranged from a city commissioner to an interior designer.

To date, 260 youth leaders have graduated from the program.  Numerous graduates return each year take part in the six-month planning of day agendas, the interview process of applicants and help facilitate the actual activities.  If your child is between his/her incoming sophomore and senior years in high school, please speak with Shari to enroll your child in this exciting program for 2013 summer.

Shari Hodgson, Ph.D., ABD has been a faculty member at the University Of Central Florida Nicholson School Of Communication for seventeen years. Due to her dedication to the development of innovative teaching methods, she was the UCF 2004-2005 recipient of the “Teaching Incentive Program, TIP” award , and the 2007 Florida Communication Association’s “Outstanding Teacher” award.


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