Eighteen schools join Teen LEAD to help students become school and community leaders

August 28, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – August 22, 2008 – Eighteen South Carolina high schools have joined the statewide Teen LEAD (Leaders Evolving and Developing) initiative for the 2008-09 school year.  The newcomers bring to 28 the number of schools that are preparing students to become leaders in their schools and communities through character development and leadership training.

In its second year, Teen LEAD is supported by a $2.3 million dollar federal grant.  As program participants, 10th graders and their faculty sponsors receive training, technology equipment, mentoring and financial support to launch their plans for character development and civic engagement in their schools and communities.

I commend these new schools and districts for becoming a part of Teen LEAD, said State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex.  The training and skills that our students will receive as part of this program will go a long way in helping them to become productive citizens, good employees and outstanding leaders.

The new schools and their districts are:

Wren High School: Anderson School District 1 
Scott’s Branch High School: Clarendon School District 1
Colleton County High School: Colleton County
Andrew Jackson High School: Lancaster County
Lee Central High School: Lee County
Gilbert High School: Lexington School District 1
Lake Marion: Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3
Edisto High School, Branchville High School: Orangeburg School District 4
North Middle/High School: Orangeburg School District 5
Liberty High School, Daniel High School: Pickens County
CA Johnson Preparatory Academy: Richland School District One
Gettys D. Broome High School: Spartanburg School District 3
Crestwood High School, Lakewood High School: Sumter School District 2
Sumter High School: Sumter School District 17
CE Murray High School: Williamsburg County

Teen LEAD student participants form teams known as character cadres.

Along with their faculty mentors, six of the students attend a two-week Summer Leadership Camp at Clemson University’s Youth Leadership Institute.  There, the students and coaches learn the fundamentals of character development, leadership and service learning as they participate in experiential learning with a focus on teamwork and effective communication.

Ten established cadres from high schools across the state will serve as mentor sites for newly recruited cadres, offering their best practices and managerial experience.   The inaugural Teen LEAD sites include: Cross High School, Hanahan High School in Berkeley County; Manning High School in Clarendon School District 2; Carolina High School & Academy, Greenville High School, Wade Hampton High School in Greenville County;  Laurens District 55 High School in Laurens School District 55; White Knoll High School in Lexington School District One; Marlboro High School in Marlboro County; and Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School in Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five. 

These student teams have taken the lead in youth-generated activities such as Peer Mediation Council, Pinwheels for Peace Workshop, Character Counts Community Campaign and Mutual Respect Day.  The students have shared their experiences as break-out presenters at the S.C. Character Education Conference and at the annual Teen LEAD Student Summit during which adult and student participants collaborate and expand regional and statewide service learning initiatives.

Teen LEAD is currently accepting applications for the 2009-10 school year.  Interested persons should contact Marlene Fields ([email protected]), project coordinator, at 803-734-5487, or Joan Dickinson ([email protected] gov), project director, at 803-734-4807.