Teens prepare for service to schools and communities

By Pam Bryant

Youth painting signs as part of Teen LEAD programThis summer, 84 students from across the state dedicated two weeks to building character and preparing themselves for service to their schools and communities this academic year.

Teen LEAD (Leaders Evolving And Developing), a partnership between the S.C. Department of Education and Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute, brings 10th graders and faculty mentors to the Institute in Pickens to strengthen character through servant leadership.

“We want these students to reflect high moral standards and values, strong work ethics and a sense of their role in contributing to the larger community,” said Joan Dickinson, Teen LEAD program coordinator. “We want them to learn good decision-making skills, so that they complete their education and transition successfully to the next stage of life.”

One project this year honored the men and women in military service. Students painted American flags and personal messages of thanks to S.C. National Guard troops headed to Iraq. Most importantly, they discovered what they can accomplish when faced with new challenges and opportunities to grow.

The four-year program is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant.

For information: Joan Dickinson, 803-734-4807, jdickins@ed.sc.gov