Leadership

Student shaking hand with a youth frontiers retreat leader

See Rather Than Be Seen

By Joe Cavanaugh, Youth Frontiers Founder and CEO

Last school year as I embarked on a Design Year sabbatical, the following statement from Mark Nepo’s “The Book of Awakening” were guiding words: “We need not see more rightly, but rather more completely.”

I encouraged my staff to live up to that saying in a year of tumultuous partisanship, growing incivility and demonization of the “other” – whoever that “other” may be. This focus brought clear intention to my experiences abroad and to our mission.READ MORE

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Questions to Ask Yourself as the School Year Winds Down

By Justin Minkel 

Think of a school year as a human life. It has a birth, messy and hopeful and new. It has a death, too. That last day will soon come when the individual personalities who make up our class will never be together as a class again. In between, a lot happens: new abilities acquired in fits and starts, a midlife crisis or two when it all feels hard and hopeless, and some peace near the end with all that was accomplished and all that wasn’t.READ MORE

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Connection unleashes learning

Connection unleashes learning – this was the main message of our Pilot Mind Conference on May 4, 2017.

That Thursday evening, we gathered with educators from districts across the Twin Cities to talk teaching strategies informed by experience and by the latest brain research. Erin Walsh of Mind Positive Parenting and Youth Frontiers facilitated the experience. Erin shared with us her vision for the conference and her impression of its pilot.READ MORE

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Teachers, Appreciate Yourselves

By Elena Aguilar

Teacher Appreciation Day used to be agonizing. I’d anticipate the day with all kinds of hopes and dreams. I’d imagine that students, their parents and my administrators would show appreciation in a way that matched the effort I’d invested. I was always disappointed.

Sure, there were usually some really meaningful cards from kids, and the annual bagel breakfast was nice. But I always felt let down because there was really no way that anyone else could truly see the energy I put into my work as a teacher — the only person who could see that was me.READ MORE

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Youth Frontiers Leadership Conferences

Student leaders commit to improving their schools

This year, we facilitated a record-breaking eight Youth Frontiers Leadership Conferences (YFLC)! During the course of these conferences, hundreds of students from diverse backgrounds, geographic regions and academic settings gathered to acknowledge their ability to lead their schools and improve their communities. We held two YFLCs in the Twin Cities, Minn., two in Omaha, Neb., two in Milwaukee, Wis., one in Manitowoc, Wisc. and one in Green Bay, Wisc. We were inspired by the students’ commitments to making their schools better places, and we wanted to share some of them with you.READ MORE

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Monticello students participated in a Respect Retreat and the YFLC

It starts with respect

By Sarah Barchus, Youth Frontiers Communications Specialist

At Monticello High School, it all starts with respect. For the second year in a row, Monticello has held a Respect Retreat® for ninth graders on the first day of school.

The Respect Retreat helps new students get a picture of what the school values, Monticello’s Assistant Principal, John Reeves explained. “[It] helps us start the year off in a great way.”READ MORE

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Joe's meeting with F.W. de Klerk in South Africa

A Lesson in Empathy from South Africa’s F.W. de Klerk

By Joe Cavanaugh, Youth Frontiers Founder and CEO

This school year, with the support of our Board of Directors, I’ve been able to step back and spend time in some fascinating places with the intent to “see the other more completely” and build the vision for the next 30 years of Youth Frontiers. Recently, I had the opportunity to study, volunteer and work in South Africa, meeting with many amazing people who are doing good work to heal the deep emotional scars of Apartheid. My experiences and the people that I met have reinforced my belief in the importance of the Youth Frontiers mission and the values we teach students every day: moral courage, empathy and respect for human dignity.READ MORE

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