The Tri-County High School Leadership Institute is a 9 month leadership program for outstanding high school students ages 16-18. The program combines hands-on education, meaningful service, local accomplished speakers and seminars, and an unforgettable learning experience for a year that students will describe as a “powerful learning experience.”
Our Tri-County Student Leadership Institute will be offered to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Bedford, Somerset and Cambria Counties. The Institute staff will create an environment that includes instruction emphasizing a leadership development curriculum, while actively participating in and reflecting on experiences that benefit both the community and the students through service. Institute staff will highlight the importance of community leadership and how it impacts tomorrow’s future.
We believe that informed and engaged youth can make a positive difference for the future; thus our mission is to help students develop the skills associated with effective and socially responsible leadership. Our college heritage and mission is to respond to individual and community needs with quality programs of education in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy. To that end, Mount Aloysius promotes 4 characteristics of future leaders: mercy, hospitality, justice and service. The current focus on leadership development at our institution will weave into the curriculum of the Tri-County Student Leadership Institute.
The Tri-County Student Leadership Institute will serve as a type of Saturday Academy, occurring on selected Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Academic Year, with special weekday events interspersed throughout. All sessions will be held at Mount Aloysius College when not engaged in a site visit. The participants will receive instruction on subjects like networking, character building, leadership and management styles and internships. The curriculum is specifically designed to allow the students to learn through hands-on interaction with local business leaders from the community. We believe that this kind of interactive, engaging program will meet the needs of the Youthful Direction Initiative to increase civic pride and potentially reduce population egress of local youth.
The program will culminate in a community service project of the group’s choosing. During each session, the participants will have allotted time to plan their community service project with the help of the College’s Mercy Presidential Scholars. The service project planning element will foster team building among the participants.
Students completing the Institute will earn 1 credit from Mount Aloysius College. Additionally, the student staff for the program will be Mount Aloysius College’s Mercy Presidential Scholars, allowing the participants to interact with current college-aged leaders. The relational peer leadership component will enhance the participants’ experience.
The Tri-County Leadership Institute is collaboration between the Community Foundation of the Alleghenies and Mount Aloysius College.
Mount Aloysius will create and manage a closed Facebook group for Tri-County Student Leadership Institute participants so that discussions and shared activities can continue outside of the program. A unique hashtag will be created for students to post pictures, status updates, live tweets, etc. that can be followed on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Students will be encouraged to post using that hashtag during each session, and while engaged in their school or community activities and projects, to document their journeys to their various social networks.
Mount Aloysius hopes to utilize funding from the Youthful Direction Initiative grant as initial startup capital for the the Tri-County Student Leadership Institute. If awarded a grant, we will pursue funding for the program from additional foundations and corporate partners (where appropriate) to supplement programming for 2015-16 and subsequent years.
The 1st capstone session will focus on two areas: identifying leadership styles and learning about corporate and social responsibility from a local business leader.
There are many different types of organization cultures and within each culture is a variety of leaders who all have their own unique style. In order to establish successful culture in a school, team or business environment, the participants will learn about their own leadership style and how it contributes to their cultures.
The 2nd capstone will center on exploring the leadership practices with social justice. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with a Somerset County community leader who will share the impact and social justice cases that have the potential to advance communities.
Institute staff have partnered with real estate developers, main street organizations, municipal and civic organizations to gain understanding of the quality of life, family support and civic involvement happening in the region.
Mount Aloysius College Career Services Department will share networking techniques, facilitate in a career interest skills inventory, and discuss regional career and internship opportunities. Participants will work on a case study which will help them identify and understand how certain employers came here, why they stayed here, and how they intend to grow in our area.
Program staff will partner with recreational professionals in the area to gain information on venues, events, activities. Participants will view a performing arts and venues to highlight opportunities in the region for entertainment and social activity outside the office or school.
Institute participants and staff will conduct a site visit to the annual Showcase for Commerce, hosted by JARI. Participants will be required to dress in business attire and engage with exhibitors, utilizing the networking and career interest skills covered in the March session. Transportation logistics will be determined and covered by the College in conjunction with each county/school district of participating students.
Participants will carry out a planned service project in Cambria, Bedford or Somerset County. Participants will be challenged to extend their leadership institute learned skills in their community service project.