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Each spring, more than 500 high school juniors and teachers from over 100 schools throughout the New York City metropolitan area attend the kickoff event for Thirteen/WNET New York's Teen Leadership Institute.
Thirteen established the Teen Leadership Institute in 1989 to help high school students prepare for leadership roles. The Institute is a "cutting edge" project that brings together recognized leaders in the fields of ethics and values to work with a broad range of high school students from the tri-state region. The Institute provides an opportunity for students to engage in a series of discussions and activities designed to strengthen bridges of communication, to examine values and behaviors, and to develop their ability to assume leadership roles.

The Institute challenges high school students from across the tri-state region to think critically about their values and how they impact on such important issues as race relations, youth violence, substance abuse, and cultural diversity. The Institute promotes this analysis by developing leadership skills, including ethical reasoning, higher level thinking, effective communication, conflict resolution, and responsible decision making. Students' active involvement in the program is encouraged, and after participating, students are charged with creating and implementing programs and projects of their own with their peers. This produces a "ripple effect" and the number of students who benefit from the Institute expands exponentially.

Institute Components
This responsive presentation addresses ethics and managing cultural differences. Panelists Designed in cooperation with Columbia University's Seminars on Media and Society, the approach asks panelists how they would respond in difficult, hypothetical situations. The Socratic method of questioning is used to force examination of their choices. For Teen Leadership Day, a panel of students, educators and community leaders respond to dilemmas involving such issues as autonomy, loyalty, confidentiality, and honesty.

Small groups of 15 to 20 students explore the role that values play in their lives and the dilemmas that occur when these values clash. Role Playing With emphasis on managing differences, focus groups delve into topics such as the ethics of personal relationships, and justice as it relates to fairness, individual freedom, and the common good. Trained facilitators encourage students to identify, analyze and question the conflicting choices these issues pose. Focus group activities were developed by Global Kids.

Archived role-playing activities developed for the Teen Leadership Institute are available for your use.

While students are in their focus groups, teachers receive resource materials and training which suggest appropriate cross-curricular applications in disciplines such as social studies, literature, philosophy etc. We strongly encourage teachers to utilize the materials and training received during the institute to initiate and/or support school programs highlighting diversity, preferably spearheaded by the students that attended the conference. To that end, Thirteen offers five grants in the amount of $1,000 (one thousand dollars) in support of such efforts.

General Assembly In the afternoon, students and teachers reconvene to share reflections and learn about additional TLI resources. This is an opportunity for the audience to share what they learned during the day and how they envision continuing their effort in the upcoming school year. Students and teachers are also reminded of TLI's ongoing activities, including the mini-grants, the Scholarship Contest, the TLI Web site, and the opportunity to become more involved with the Institute as an advisory board member.

The Institute's reach is extended electronically through Thirteen, Thirteen's Web site. Here educators will find such features as Peaceful Solutions Online, focusing on conflict resolution and peer-to-peer mentoring initiatives. On wNetSchool, Thirteen's practical Web service for K-12 teachers on Thirteen, educators will find Web-based lesson plans and ideas for school projects.

Teen Leadership  

500 Students And Teachers From New York, New Jersey And Connecticut Gather To Explore Diversity At Summit Led By Thirteen/WNET New York, With WNBC-TV Reporter Ti-Hua Chang Among The Panelists

General Assembly

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 25, 2002-- Passionate voices echoed once again throughout the Great Hall of The Cooper Union on Friday, March 22, as over 400 high school students and more than 100 of their teachers gathered to confront bias and racism at Thirteen's TEEN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE.

Now in its 13th year, the institute taps the leadership potential of high school juniors from more than 100 schools in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"The Great Hall at Cooper Union has heard the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas offer eloquent oratories that have helped shape our world. At the TEEN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE, more than 400 young people come together to continue this tradition," said Dr. William F. Baker, president of Thirteen. "By taking part in discussions and activities that break down barriers of race and religion, the participants gain a greater view of diversity, which they will carry with them into the future as they leave their own marks on history."

Family Life Theater opened the program with an original performance about racism, bias and the power of personal choice. Then, Charles Ogletree, a Harvard School of Law professor, moderated an interactive Socratic Ethics Forum with a panel of adults and teenagers that included award-winning WNBC-TV reporter Ti-Hua Chang.

Following the forum, the teens broke into focus groups led by volunteers from the staff of Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH), who were trained to facilitate workshops on bias, with teenage members of the TEEN LEADERSHIP advisory board and Global Kids, Inc., an organization dedicated to preparing urban youth to become global citizens and community leaders. The students explored the role that diversity and race play in their lives through role-playing and self-identity exercises. Meanwhile, educators participated in one of three workshops led by the Facing History and Ourselves organization, the United Nations Association of the United States of America and Thirteen's Educational Resources Center.

"Our involvement with the TEEN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE last year heightened our awareness of the value of community partnerships," said Ken Duane, vice chairman of PVH Sportswear Group. "At PVH, we have learned first-hand that community involvement is extremely rewarding. By sharing this educational experience with our community's young people, we have become more aware of and sensitive to the challenges within our community. We are looking forward to continuing our valued partnership with the TEEN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE."

Macenje Mazoka, Thirteen's director of youth outreach, announced the second annual TEEN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE Scholarship Essay Contest. A total of $5,000 in scholarship prizes is available to participants in the 2002 event through a donation from the Korean-American Youth Foundation. Also, five $1,000 Achievement Awards are available to schools whose teachers and students participated in this year's program so that they can implement or expand leadership programs in their schools and communities.

The day concluded with a keynote address by the 1995 world champion of pubic speaking, Mark Brown. Brown makes hundreds of presentations each year at school assemblies, conferences and conventions throughout North America. His unique blend of insight and wit left the audience members entertained, uplifted and inspired to carry the themes of the institute into their schools and communities.

TEEN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE is sponsored by Phillips-Van Heusen. TLI 2001 is made possible in part by generous contributions from:

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