My Place Teen Center has developed a quarterly plan to continue its Youth Leadership Academy through the summer of 2017. All youth are encouraged to attend “extended learning” activities in order to increase the fundamental building blocks needed to promote thriving. The Youth Leadership Academy is comprised of four areas: (1) Health and Wellness; (2) Social/Emotional Skills; (3) Workforce Readiness; and, (4) Character/Civic Engagement.

The following activities and projects in each area are:

Health and Wellness: The purpose of this area is to increase knowledge and skills in nutrition, food preparation, proper hygiene, self-care, fitness, and exercise.

  1. A fitness program for up to 20 youth a day utilizing the comprehensive gym equipment and a trainer who will design individual programs for participants. Healthy foods, hydration, and stress relief will also be part of the program.

Community Partners: Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Program, Alice Ruvane who is an IDEXX employee teaching yoga, and a personal trainer who is to be determined.

  1. Culinary School – An eight-week curriculum where up to 16 participants will become apprentice chefs under the guidance of professional chefs and volunteers. They will learn the art of kitchen prep, knife safety, the importance of hygiene, and will learn the various roles from servers, hosts, dishwashers, and cooks. They will also learn the art of baking in a separate learning module taught by MPTC staff.

Community Partners: The Frog and Turtle, IDEXX, MPTC Staff and dinner volunteers.

  1. Dance Program – A modern dance class for up to 10 youth will be taught by a professional dance teacher and will be taught weekly.

Community Partners: Drouin Dance Center.

  1. Summer field trips to engage youth in healthy activities outside such as hikes, bike rides, camping, river walks, tennis, and swimming.

Social/Emotional Competencies: The purpose of this area is to increase knowledge and skills in leadership, decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution.

  1. Be Proud, Be Responsible is a curriculum on HIV prevention designed for up to 15 high school youth to increase their knowledge and skills on pregnancy and STD prevention. This curriculum is 8 weeks and will be taught by a certified staff member.
  2. Youth Leadership Council is a select group of up to 10 youth who will receive additional leadership training. They are charged with assisting staff in decision making, curriculum development, and leadership.

Workforce Readiness Skills: The purpose of this area is to increase knowledge and skills in work readiness such as interviewing skills and dressing for success.

  1. An eight-week curriculum will be offered to up to 10 youth who are ready to look for work. Workshops on resume writing, interviewing skills, financial management, and self-care will be taught by staff and professionals. Area companies will participate by conducting mock interviews. Participating youth will also be given an allowance to shop for interview/work clothes.

Partners: IDEXX, SAPPI, Ameriprise, Peoples’ United, TD Bank.

  1. Whaat?? This is a weekly program that is taught by two IDEXX employees that focuses on program design (they are making a game application that they can play on their phones) and internet safety.

Character and Civic Engagement: The purpose of this area is to increase knowledge and skills in community service, teamwork, and developing a better perception of their value in the world.

  1. Community Service projects for up to 15 youth will be conducted weekly. Some projects suggested by the youth range from making animal snacks for the local animal refuge league to baking cookies for community partners. Youth learn the concept “the community cares about you” by giving back. Other projects include community art projects, cigarette clean up along the river, visiting senior citizen facilities, and bottle drives.
  2. Writing thank you notes

Partners: Animal Refuge League, IDEXX, City of Westbrook, Art All Around, Sappi