iGeneration Peer Leadership Program
With the rapid change in technology and its impact on our lives, it is clear that the Internet is no longer the defining feature in the lives of children and teens. Based on research, we have now discovered a separate generation, which we label the "iGeneration" with the "i" representing both the types of mobile technologies being heralded by children and adolescents (iPhone, iPod, Wii, iTunes) plus the fact that these technologies are mostly "individualized" in the way they are used. There are researchers that feel that this new generation encompasses those children and teens born in the new millennium and are defined by their technology and media use, their love of electronic communication, and their need to multitask.
The challenges of the future are unquestionably great ones, bringing widespread recognition of the need for effective leaders in all sectors of society. Although all people have some leadership potential, the skills necessary to be leaders do not necessarily emerge in the natural course of one’s life. Organizations like ours that provide services to youth have unique opportunities to foster leadership in young people by creating programs that provide opportunities for leadership development.
The rationale for youth leadership development is threefold:
to provide opportunities for students with leadership potential to develop, refine, and practice to enable students
to experience their power to effect change by exercising leadership in their environment through interventions
to create future societal leaders
Peer leadership programs like ours empower students to create positive change in their environments, are student-led, and thrive within communities that value and support the program in word and action. These programs provide potential student leaders with opportunities to refine and build upon their leadership skills, gain new knowledge, develop new attitudes, and gain experiential practice in their role as leaders.