Last year with the help of the Osceola County District Schools, the Leadership continuum created Youth Leadership for AVID middle school students. The AVID program, Achieving Via Individual Determination, is a national model to help students stay on track and prepare for post-secondary education.
This program promotes discipline, self-esteem, life skills and leadership qualities among identified at-risk middle school students. The program engages about 25 youth in a course that provides an intensive curriculum of interpersonal growth, community information, leadership training, and hands-on experiences. During the two week immersion program, using Valencia College as home base, these young students receive classroom curriculum coupled with a reinforcing community field trip. Community activities included teambuilding at the Osceola Sheriff’s Department Ropes Course, history, environment, and career/college exploration. Each graduate receives a certificate of completion and, hopefully, a sense of personal pride. Most importantly, the participants receive the skills to be productive students, a new sense of community and an identified role they can play in community betterment and citizenship.