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Participating in Coro’s Youth Leadership Academy this summer

Yazmin Abdullah '19 and Oscar Garcia '18 participated in Coro’s Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) partnership with DOE for Borough Student Advisory Councils (BSACs) builds the leadership skills and capacity of young New Yorkers to weigh in on policies that impact their daily lives as public school students. The YLA offers 28 selected high school students intensive training and hands-on experience as Youth Partner Facilitators to co-lead BSACs with DOE adult staff.

During the time at Coro we learned different skills each day. When we got to the second week of the program it became even more challenging. You had to communicate in ways you haven't before and control parts of you that you never thought you would. One activity that we did was a maze and in this game there was only one leader that could speak and direct us. All 28 members had to figure out the pattern to get through the maze without being about to talk to each other and remember the pattern given. As a team we completed it in about 10 minutes which also gave us a sense of trust and confidence in each other.

Other activities included silencing the part of our brain that makes us nervous about things and tell us we can't do something. When these fears were talked about we went out of our comfort zones to overcome them and be able to accomplish goals without doubt. The experience of the program is great and will change you for the better you will discover something in you that you've never seen. It's only 2 weeks long but you will connect with people that understand you and want to build with you which makes you want to expand it.

During this program we learned how to not jump to conclusions and really stay low on the inferences and stick to facts. This has tremendously improved me as a person because sticking to facts improves your argument and doesn't allow you to act off of what you really don't know. Any student can benefit from the experience because it's training and you have people there to support every thing you do. However, this program would mostly be for someone trying to exercise leadership especially in schools.

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