County Youth Leadership Program Prepares Future Leaders
Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Jan. 31, 2003
County Youth Leadership Program
Prepares Future Leaders
The Youth Leadership Program, launched by Fairfax
County, is preparing the next generation of students to become engaged
citizens and community leaders. Now beginning its third year, the program
takes high school juniors from the classroom into county offices and work
sites to experience first-hand the work of their local government, the
one that is "closest to the people" and the first responder in
times of crises.
Participation in the Youth Leadership Program has grown this year, with a total of 29 juniors, one or two per county high school, participating in the 2003 class. The students follow a vigorous curriculum designed to introduce them to the inner workings of county government, and provoke analysis about the consequences of decisions that must be made in county government every day. Students participate in monthly three-hour sessions in various county government agencies in which they learn about how the functions of those agencies impact the day to day lives of typical county residents. They learn about topics, such as housing and homelessness, human services challenges and solutions, budgeting during an uncertain economy, meeting the recreational and cultural needs of citizens, public safety in today's world, and land use planning and development.
The students also come face to face with the challenges the county must overcome to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of the county's citizens and businesses. They learn how citizens can, and often do, become active participants in shaping policy and establishing the priorities that local government tries to meet. They even have the opportunity to meet with decision makers in the government and ask them some questions of their own. Finally, the students will have the opportunity to share what they learn when they prepare a PowerPoint presentation and give it to a class of middle school students.
The students were selected based on their individual achievements in school and their involvement at their schools and in the community. The class of 2003 includes the following students: Dione-Marianne Brigola, Falls Church High School; David Chang, South Lakes High School; Thomas Egeland, Jr., Hayfield Secondary School; Justin Forsyth, Oakton High School; Laura Fresco and Saba Shahid, Robinson Secondary School; Ryhan Futuri and Georgina Owino, Edison High School; Deborah Goodnight and Kristen Wasilko, Langley High School; Michael Hagos, Robert E. Lee High School; Muhammad Haider, Mount Vernon High School; Emily Hueber, West Potomac High School; Malcolm Jones, Marshall High School; Jennifer Keener, McLean High School; Andrew Kirshak, Chantilly High School; Stephanie Lynch, J.E.B. Stuart High School; Pat McCafferty, Centreville High School; Tara McCluskey, West Springfield High School; Joyce Meng and Mary Leigh Nugent, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; Grace Milad and Rana Movahed, Westfield High School, Diana Nguyen, Annandale High School; Mindy Peng, Woodson High School; Rebecca Schwartz, Fairfax High School; Nada Shawish, Madison High School; Brittany Vera, Lake Braddock Secondary School; and Megan Walker, Herndon High School.
For more information on the Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program,
call Susan Datta in the Department of Management and Budget at
703-324-4068, TTY 711 (Virginia Relay Center).