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A rewarding Leaders in Training Program: Graduating with confidence

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LIT students at New Roots

LIT students at New Roots

Photo: IRC in NY

IRC in NY’s Leaders in Training (LITs) are a select group of engaged juniors and seniors in high school who both serve as leaders in IRC’s youth programming and participate in a host of opportunities, including preparing for college, career development, and community engagement. 

The 2021 cohort of 10 students began in October and concluded in May. At first, it was hybrid and shifted to in-person programming. LITs participated in workshops focused on college applications, leadership development, and career readiness throughout the program. They developed and practiced their interview and public speaking skills. They also received support in writing personal statements and applying to college.  

LIT student having fun at the New Roots Garden
LIT student having fun at the New Roots Garden Photo: IRC in NY

This was an exciting time for LIT students to have the support of a community and a safe space to practice their social and academic skills. LIT students joined a career day at the NYC office and visited a law clerk's office to gain a perspective on different fields of study and job industries. They also visited the IRC in NY New Roots Community Farm for fun! 

Hear from two LIT students and their takeaways from the LIT program:  

LIT student 1 shares:  

“The LIT program helped me prepare my resume and cover letter and apply for college. We are now all friends. Together we practice our elevator pitch. I was encouraged by Ms.Rosalie to not give up on my personal statement. I also felt supported by Ms.Brendamarie! I am interested in the nursing field and feel lucky that I will start college in August. I was a student at the NYSA (Newcomer Youth Summer Academy) and am so happy I was introduced to this program!”  

Career Day, LIT event
Career Day, LIT event Photo: IRC in NY

LIT student 2 shares:  

“The LIT program is a nice place to learn about the college process. I learned how to communicate better and network with people. My favourite activity was the career field day, where I had a great conversation with someone who connected me to an internship. I hope to become a financial analyst in the future and apply for a Master's after college. I learned that it's okay to be an introvert and that communication is a healthy tool to connect with others. I am so thankful for my connections with Ms.Rosalie and Ms.Brendamarie, who motivated me in this program.  

…With all the memories created and skills learned... it was time for the 2021 cohort to graduate! At the end of May, the LIT students gathered at the NRCF to celebrate the completion of the LIT program. The Youth Education Coordinator and Youth Education Intern hosted the LIT ceremony on a bright sunny day!

Together, Leaders in Training youth celebrated their cohort’s successful college enrollment, confidence, and the motivation and tools they learned to advocate for their education.