From staff reports:
The 2013 Advancing Leadership Youth (ALY) Class celebrated the completion of it nine-month program with a graduation ceremony on April 15 hosted by Grace Church in Federal Way.
The ALY 2013 graduates are:
• Decatur High School: Adam Anthony, Shawntel Bali, Kendall Karmell, Philip Kim, Lindsey Sorenson, Amani Thomas
• Federal Way High School: Jawwad Ali, Joshua Dawson, Eunice Decena, Jeremy McMahon, Jenessa Ho, Sonya Wani, Devan Williams
• Federal Way Public Academy: Christian Huber, Augustino Nguyen
• Internet Academy: Douglas Smith
• John F. Kennedy High School: Danielle Carnahan
• Career Academy at Truman: Amy Hseih
• Todd Beamer High School: Jasmine Dacones, Danalyn Fernandez, Julia Kim, Matthew Maloney, Eloisa Serrano, Taylor Verzosa, Madison Weinman
• Thomas Jefferson High School: Dylan DeTray, David Jang, Chris Kim, Edward Park, Courtney Walker, Kaya Warrior, Jaden Zwick.
The graduation event came just three days after the class of teen leaders was invited to share their anti-bullying message with the students at Sunnycrest Elementary School. The idea originated with Sunnycrest Office Manager Francie Thomas, who was impressed by the One Day Federal Way VolunTEEN event.
This event, ALY 2013’s service learning project, brought in more than 200 high school students on a school holiday to sign an anti-bullying pledge and explore volunteer options in the community. Thomas worked with Principal Rudy Baca to arrange a special assembly led by ALY 2013.
The high school students talked to the Sunnycrest students about what bullying is, its effects, and how they could take action to support each other and stop bullying. Hands-on activities and a chance to write their names on a “Kindness is Cool” sign as a pledge to be positive kept the kids engaged.
The event was also very special to Thomas. She is a graduate of the 2004 Advancing Leadership adult class that created the youth program as their service project. “When I saw the ALY kids interacting with Sunnycrest kids at the assembly, I was brought to tears. I felt so proud to be a part of the AL group who started the ALY program, and I felt so happy for the Sunnycrest students to whom I am totally committed.”
At their graduation, many of the ALY 2013 students cited the Sunnycrest assembly as the highlight of their year. Seeing the way they could inspire younger kids brought home the Advancing Leadership concepts of servant leadership and “leaving a legacy."
Advancing Leadership Youth, which began in 2004, introduced local high school students from highly diverse backgrounds to the components of a healthy community. Participants meet and learn from more than 100 local leaders as they develop their own leadership skills over nine months. Students then put their knowledge into practice by planning and implementing a community service project.
For the adults
Federal Way’s Advancing Leadership program is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 class. Men and women living, working and/or volunteering in the Federal Way area are eligible to apply.
Advancing Leadership (AL) is an intensive leadership development program founded by the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce and its partners in 1998. The program is designed to help local adults enhance their leadership skills, deepen their understanding of community assets and issues and expand their network of relationships with other leaders in the city, county and state. Over 400 men and women have completed the program.
In addition to leadership and personal skills training, team building, field trips throughout the community and working with hundreds of leaders in government, business, education, healthcare, nonprofits and service clubs, Advancing Leadership participants choose a team project they design, organize and implement to benefit Federal Way.
Applications are due May 17. For more information and to apply online, visit advancingleadership.org.