Teen Leaders at the YMCA is an annual club for teens ages 13-18. The purpose of the club is to encourage a life-long spirit of service, enhance leadership skills, and foster personal growth and development. There are Leaders clubs throughout the country as well as clubs located at the Clearwater, Greater Palm Harbor, Gills, and North Pinellas YMCA’s. The Greater Palm Harbor Leaders club meets every Monday night from 6:30-7:30 apart from days there is no school.
Teen Leaders helps teens form life-long friendships and provides them with a safe space where they are accepted and welcomed. Along with this, they are also given volunteer opportunities and the chance to show their leadership by planning and executing YMCA events.
Some of the events that Teen Leaders volunteer at are the Annual Greater Palm Harbor Kids’ Triathlon, fundraisers such as flag football concessions and car washes, Healthy Kids Day, and Foster Kid Field Day.
“You meet a lot of people and really come out of your comfort bubble” Lauren Elsey (‘22) said. “It’s a really great experience.”
Members of the club also have the opportunity to attend Blue Ridge Leaders School in Black Mountain, North Carolina over the summer. The school is a week-long, and trains teens to be leaders in all aspects of YMCA physical education. During the six days Leaders will engage with other Leaders in classes and activities geared toward YMCA history, personal growth, self-love, and valuable life skills.
“Blue Ridge gives you a second family” Madeline Manning (‘21) said.
Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things can result in positive experiences and may even change a life.