YLGW 2018: The journey to leadership begins today

On Friday, January 12, thirty-two high school students from across the region gathered at Pepco Edison Gallery to begin their journey as the Youth Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2018.

LGW President & CEO Doug Duncan (’15) and Debi Jarvis (’09), Vice President of Corporate Relations, Pepco Holdings, opened the day by welcoming parents and YLGW students to the program. Our first session also introduced this year's class, co-leaders Margarita Rozenfeld (’10) and Jeff Franco (’10), and LGW's Staff, and to discuss program goals and how the YLGW experience will contribute to the students’ growth as leaders. By participating in the program, students will gain powerful leadership and communication skills, expand their community of contacts, friends and potential mentors and also learn to work with deferent kinds of leaders.

“The future of leadership is in this room.” -Jeff Franco (’10)

For our first day of this year's Youth Leadership Greater Washington Program, we asked our students to begin examining what it means to be a leader by engaging in team building exercises and establishing program goals for the year. Darnell Eaton of the Washington Improv Theater introduced students to a series of exercises and activities designed to connect and build a relationship. By channeling improv as leadership, students participated in a series of different games with a focus on engagement connections and building familiarity as a team. Students learned, about the variety of possibilities that can happen in improv, break down walls and explore comfort. 

After students let down their walls, the day shifted toward the topic of networking and body language. Mary Abbajay of Careerstone Group, LLC introduced students to the concept of proper introductions and networking. It is vital for young adults to possess adequate networking skills, epically before entering college or the workforce. Careerstone’s presentation touched on the concepts of body language, eye contact and explore tactics to enhance leadership presence and gain a deeper understanding of leadership styles.

The day concluded with an activity dedicated to self-reflection. Margarita and Jeff asked the group to analyze their Myers Briggs personalities. This study of personal relationships and leadership helped to shape the more in-depth conversation around what each member of the YLGW team will need moving forward. In a unique twist, Chancellor Antwan Wilson form DCPS stopped by the program to share valuable insights on leadership. Mr. Wilson was visiting Pepco Edison Place Gallery to observe the student artwork featured in the Everyday DC exhibit.

Below are some photos from the event: 

Thank you to our host Pepco, and our phenomenal presenters. We look forward the next YLGW program day in February.