Program aims to cultivate tomorrow's leaders

Aug 6, 2015

The Erie County Sheriff’s Air One helicopter landed on the quad at Medaille College Wednesday, a vivid show of support for the college’s Leaders in Training Program (LIT). The group Western New York United

Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse is hosting the five-week training session for middle school students.

The goal is to improve the students’ academic skills, develop social skills such as decision-making and ultimately teach them how to become leaders to their peers.

Video by Jonny Moran

Kendal Kalinowski, a 12-year-old Buffalo resident, told WBFO she has already gained insights.

“I learned how to be a leader and to help people and to actually go up to people that you’ve never even met before,” she said.

Alissa Henry, 11, also of Buffalo, echoed similar sentiments, adding that the program is also enjoyable.

A vivid show of support for a program that teaches students leadership skills
Credit Lian Bunny

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “It’s really fun to be here. We learned a lot of new things.  We learned new math. We learned how to use our budget of money when we get older. It’s really fun. I’m going to be a lawyer when I get older.”The program uses a number of  teaching tools, including a ropes course, a personality assessment, daily math problems and home and career classes. It also focuses on teaching kids important life lessons such as developing a healthy self-esteem, working as a team and respecting others.

Alissa said the classes helped her understand her role as a student leader.

“I want to teach people how to be more nice and help people more, instead of just being rude all the time,” she said.