Students Teaching Students
Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
July 17, 2003
Students Teaching Students
The Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program will hold an all day meeting on July 24 to create PowerPoint presentations for middle school students. The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Rooms 4 and 5 in the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.
The Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program was created to help high school students gain an understanding and appreciation of how local government works. The curriculum and activities are designed to develop citizenship skills and encourage participants to become active citizens in their community.
The participants of the Youth Leadership Program are selected through an application process in November of their junior year. One or two students are chosen from each high school in the county. This year there are 29 students from 24 high schools participating in the program which began in January 2003. The participants will graduate from the program on Dec. 10. The Youth Leadership Program consists of 10 three-hour meetings throughout the year and a three-week internship from July 7-25.
The Youth Leadership Program meetings focus on several aspects of Fairfax County government. The topics include affordable housing, human services, budget, recreation, public safety and land-use policy. These meetings provide the students with a better understanding of what takes place in the community.
The leadership program also includes an internship. Each of the 29 students is assigned to a different county office to work three 40-hour weeks. Some students from this year's program are working in the County Attorney's Office, Fire and Rescue Department, Office of Public Affairs, Park Authority and the Office of the Sheriff.
The students are given a variety of learning experiences in the program. They are given assignments after every meeting, which help strengthen writing and evaluation skills. The participants are also given the chance to create their own questions for an interview with members of the Board of Supervisors. This spring the students were divided into groups by district and instructed to develop questions for an interview with their district supervisor.
"Interviewing Chairman Hanley was a wonderful experience," said Rebecca Schwartz, Fairfax High School representative, "This program has given me so many awe-inspiring opportunities to learn and participate in my local government."
The next project for the program participants will be to create a PowerPoint presentation for middle school students at the July 24 meeting. The goal is to generate interest about local government by presenting the information through a young adult's perspective. The presentations will contain digital photos from the participants' internships and information that they have learned throughout the program.
The participants of the program indicate the experience is rewarding. "I have been granted a rare opportunity to work with many extraordinary individuals," said Malcolm Jones of Marshall High School.
For more information, call Martha Reed, Department of Management and Budget, 703-324-4062, TTY 711.