PORTLAND, MAINE | As part of a youth empowerment and leadership workshop series, nearly 30 teenage students came together in Portland for a day of learning and skill-building.
Developing Effective Communication Skills for Leadership was the first of a four-week long leadership intensive program put on by Cultivating Community, a Maine-based organization that works to grow sustainable communities by feeding the hungry, empowering youth and the community, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Seven of the students in the program are Seeds.
Leading this initial workshop was Seeds of Peace staff member Erica Zane, who created a program based on her experience at the Seeds of Peace International Camp.
Students spend the day focused on communication as it relates to youth empowerment and leadership, working collaboratively on problem solving skills, conflict resolution skills, active listening strategies, and communication in group-settings. They also explored the importance of perspective-taking, looking at how varied world views relate to effective communication and collaboration.
“I feel as though the workshop provided me with an overall better understanding of what it means to collaborate, to be a leader among leaders, and to communicate efficiently and effectively,” said Salma, a Seed participant.
“I feel like my previous ideas about these concepts have been challenged.”
Adding to the rich content of the workshop was an atmosphere of cooperation and dialogue, as students learned about and from each other.
“I got to know people I never thought I would’ve had the chance to get to know,” said Muna, also a Seed.
Cultivating Community will continue to work with the same group of students for the next four weeks, as the intensive leadership program moves into the next phase.