Helper's Guide, Leadership Development #1
Helping young people develop not only an ethic of service, but also life skills that they carry with them throughout their lives is one of the goals of this curriculum.
What are life skills? Life skills prepare youth to perceive and respond to life. These skills help people live in an interdependent society, where skills like teamwork, communications, self-discipline are essential for getting along with others and being successful. Life skills also help youth contribute to society. Not only do they interact well with others, but they also give back through service learning and community service, and they consider how their actions impact other people. Helping young people develop life skills is one of the most important things you can do as a project helper. In short – life skills prepare a young person to function in a world that is changing.
The life skill is identified on each activity in this series on the page to the left. The processing questions for each activity often will reinforce the life skill targeted by the activity. Make sure you discuss the life skill with the youth you are helping.
You may look at the young people you meet through 4-H, your school classroom, or afterschool program and think that some youth are automatically blessed with an abundance of life skills, and others are lacking. Life skills can be learned, and may not be inherited. It’s not uncommon for youth to exhibit different levels of life skill development. As appropriate, involve youth who need more help with life skills in leadership and group activities – asking them to take a leading role can help the develop further, or ask them to pair up with another youth. Even youth who exhibit strong life skills, can use improvement and reinforcement. Life is a long journey – help equip all of the young people you are helping with life skills.