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Youth Launch Leaders program offers tools for adult youth leaders

LAMONI — Youth Launch Leaders (YLL), a Youth Launch Commission organization, provides training opportunities and support to adult leaders of youth activities in the areas of child and adolescent growth and development in six southern Iowa counties.

Through YLL’s efforts, adult youth leaders will become proficient in the skills necessary for creating environments where youth can grow and develop.

Youth Launch Leaders is a cooperative program with Graceland University, made possible through a grant from the Dekko Foundation.

“Nearly 7000 young people ages six – 18 years of age are enrolled in public and private schools in Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Ringgold, Union, and Wayne Counties,” said Julie Neas, director of Youth Launch Leaders. “Each of these students probably will participate in at least one extracurricular activity. Youth Launch Leaders was initiated to assist the over 1,200 adult leaders of these extracurricular activities with tools to guide them more effectively.”

YLL training utilizes the 40 Developmental Assets designed by Search Institute. The assets include: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity.

“For over two decades, this tool has become the most frequently cited and widely utilized system in the world for youth enrichment,” Neas said. “It identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to become successful, healthy, responsible, and contributing adults.”

“Adult leaders involved in all manner of youth activities, such as scouts, athletics, music and dance, Sunday school, and after-school programs are invited to utilize Youth Launch Leaders programs and resources which include training seminars, fact sheets, regular newsletters, links to on-line resources, and webinars,” said Greg Sutherland, Graceland University’s director of affiliate relations responsible for program development with Graceland’s various partners.

For more information about the Youth Launch Commission programs, visit its website at www.graceland.edu/YLL or call 641-784-5401.

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