This summer, Wyman Center hosted more than 330 teens and 50 staff members for the Teen Leadership Program’s intensive summer sessions. The summer sessions engage teens through leadership labs, community service activities, and wilderness treks. During these sessions, their experiences go beyond Wyman’s campus. Rising juniors and seniors focus on future college goals by attending a ten-day college tour and staying in college dorms, and recent graduates participate in a summer bridge program to prepare them for adjusting to life at college.
For these teens, TLP’s summer sessions are a time to connect with friends while setting goals for the next school year. However, because of the support of group leaders and staff, the summer is also a time when TLP participants experience an abundance of intentional, caring adult relationships. These supportive relationships make a significant impact on young peoples’ sense of belonging and community, and are sources of guidance that can lead to better decision-making and higher academic achievement. According to Dr. Michelle Gambone of Youth Development Strategies, Inc., experiencing support from the people in [one’s] environment is one of the most critical factors in the healthy development of all individuals. Thanks to TLP’s summer and full time staff, teens this summer were reminded that they are valued and important.
Although we cannot precisely measure our staff’s true impact on our teens, we can thank them for their role in making this summer a success. Throughout the summer, our TLP staff logged more than 25,920 hours mentoring teens, planning activities, and visiting colleges across the state. They were responsible for leading songs and supervising hikes, all in record breaking heat. Through their service and dedication, the TLP staff helped to create a safe, encouraging environment that contributed to thriving teens. We are grateful for their enthusiasm to work with youth, and are proud that our young people now have such wonderful mentors in their lives.