Young Leaders Program

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Saturday, April 1st, the Young Leaders Program held their 4th annual Look 'n Lead conference, hosting over eighty 7th and 8th grade students from local middle schools! The theme for the event, Mission Possible, allowed each young leader to reflect on their passions, talents and leadership strengths to create a mission statement that will help guide their future as a servant leader. The IWA Look 'n Lead team, over 20 strong, had a great time planning and executing the event, and were so impressed with these young ladies!  The future of leadership at IWA is bright!

Sewfest WebsiteMarch 6 marked the 7th annual IWA Sewfest and the IWA community truly rallied around this worthy cause! Students, families, and friends of IWA worked diligently through the afternoon and evening to create dresses, purses, superhero masks and capes, and cards for the 300 2nd to 4th-grade boys and girls of Cafe con Leche school in the Dominican Republic. During the event, the Leaders in Action team hosted female leaders from Houston area middle schools to create bookmarks, while the Leading with Service WINGS project created bracelets with their "little sisters" from the Wesley Community Center. All of these gifts will be brought down by the Teens for Unity students on their spring break mission trip to Cafe con Leche, so keep an eye out for photos and videos after spring break. We sincerely thank each and every person who supported this year's Sewfest--this would not have been possible without your help! 


Over the weekend, the Leaders in Action team of YLP partnered with the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program for an important and timely service project.   For this particular project, about a dozen IWA girls collaborated with 30 middle schoolers from various local Catholic Middle Schools including St. Anne, St. Jerome, St. Martha, St. Helen, OLG, St. Thomas More, and St. Vincent de Paul. The group, pictured above, was greeted by the Refugee Resettlement program staff and received a brief overview of what Catholic Charities does to support refugees and the immigration process. The girls planned a few activities to discuss the value of our diverse American backgrounds and went through a simulation experience of what it would be like to be a refugee. They then worked together to make welcome blankets for the families that come through the program.  

The IWA Leaders in Action team is a group within the Young Leaders Program that creates programming and experiences to help teach local middle school students to put leadership skills into practice at an early age. 

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Transcript from December 2016 Leaders of the Month presentation:

Good morning everyone.  It is my pleasure to again, recognize students as Leaders of the Month.

But first, we must take care of some old business.  Now that Caitlan Hillier is off crutches and back on her feet we would like her to come up and receive her certificate.  Also, we invite last month’s Leader of the Month, Eva Burgess to come up as well.

This morning we would like to recognize a leader for her outstanding ability to “Be Positive” toward her teammates. During practice and games, she always has a positive attitude and is constantly uplifting her fellow players. After each game her teammates expect an artistic and motivational text from her, discussing what they did well and what they need to do to improve. She brings this leadership and creativity into the classroom according to her teammates and is constantly seen doing nice things for others. We thank her for her great leadership on and off the court.  We would like to recognize the captain of the JV basketball team, Claire Theroux.

We would also like to recognize another IWA team.   This entire team has made great strides this year in accomplishing their daring destination by pulling together and designing an impressive Leadership Curriculum for 7th & 8th graders.   Back in October, the team hosted their first event of the year, inviting 32 7th & 8th graders from 8 Catholic Middle Schools to IWA for an evening of bonding and leadership development. We were impressed by the team's synergy, hospitality, and design of their new house system. Just this past Friday, this team hosted their second gathering, inviting the middle schoolers to watch the Lion King to learn more about leadership styles. It was impressive to see a group of students come together, follow through on their responsibilities and mentor other future leaders. We are excited to see what they accomplish next semester!  We would like the directors of this the team, Mariana Ochoa and Katie Edwards, to come up to accept this award on behalf of the entire Leaders in Action team.