The mission of Youth Leadership Oak Ridge is to impart practical leadership lessons to Oak Ridge High School students that have shown leadership potential and possess a potential to advance in their leadership and communication skills. By socializing and enforcing the value and merit of leadership to our community’s future leaders, the Youth Leadership program will develop future business and community leaders that will bear fruit for the community now and in the future.
What is Youth Leadership Oak Ridge?
Youth Leadership Oak Ridge was started as the community project of the 2009 Leadership Oak Ridge class. The program is patterned after the adult Leadership Oak Ridge program, but has been revised to reflect differing interests of high school students. The itinerary is organized and coordinated by a team of committed business leaders, and is a year-long program focused on cultivating and fostering leadership traits for sophomore and junior students at Oak Ridge High School. The goal is to encourage participants to extend their leadership skills into their high school community and further as they approach college, apprenticeships, internships, and future careers.
Participants are first nominated by teachers, coaches, administrators, or community members before going through the interview and selection process. The program is limited to 25-30 students to ensure each participant receives personalized attention in a setting that maximizes opportunities for connection and growth.
Selection officials look beyond GPA to ensure this is a program that identifies current and potential leaders beyond just the classroom – you will see students who have shown leadership traits in everything from sports to clubs, band, choir, drama, and cheer.
Curriculum is divided into four primary leadership segments that each cover a quarter of the school year – personal development, community involvement, entrepreneurship, and government.
Sessions normally occur two Wednesdays a month from August to April, and take place from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce (next to the high school). There is also a field trip to Nashville in the Spring to observe the State Legislature in action.
Youth Leadership Oak Ridge also conducts a graduation banquet each year for the students, their families, community leaders and teachers.