Leadership Tag

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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Youth Frontiers entire staff photo

Now’s the time to lead

By Sarah Gavigan, Youth Frontiers Communications Specialist

It’s September, and we could not be more excited. We enter the 2017-18 school year with the momentum of last propelling us forward. We are honored to have worked with 126,934 students and educators on 861 retreats in 2016-17. This year, we aim to facilitate 873 retreats to reach 128,001 individuals – we hope that “1” is you.

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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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How to Speak Up and Be Heard

Speaking up about what matters to you almost always requires a lot of courage. Unfortunately, speaking up does not always mean that you will be heard – it can be challenging and often times messy. It’s entirely possible that those who we hope hear us most are either unresponsive or uninterested in hearing what we have to say. It’s also possible that, despite our best intentions, our communication will miss the mark.READ MORE

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The Teachers’ Lounge Podcast – Chris Pears

The Teachers’ Lounge, a Youth Frontiers podcast hosted by Sally Koering, dives into meaningful topics relevant to teachers, parents and those invested in the growth and well–being of young people. Our 15th episode features a conversation with Chris Pears, an educator and pioneer of career-oriented curriculum in our schools with an emphasis on incorporating soft skills in the classroom.
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The Ripple Effect

By Joe Cavanaugh, Founder and CEO

More than 20 years ago, I was leading a Youth Frontiers Wisdom Retreat for Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minn. For me, it was a typical day at work. I met some great students. Along with the other YF staff that day, we led the 12th-graders through the retreat as they slowly left their comfort zones. They listened to our stories of overcoming obstacles, discussed their school’s challenges in small groups and, eventually, shared carefully chosen words of responsibility and commitment in front of their classmates at the end of the retreat.READ MORE

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