Touchstones Community Engagement Program for Teen 2012
Touchstones Community Engagement Program for Teens was a continuation of Touchstones’ work that began in February 2011 (see “Community Engagement for Local Leaders”), with a group of adult and student leaders from across Anne Arundel County. At the end of that program, several of the student participants approached Touchstones and asked for a second segment. In this second phase program, which was offered only to high school students, the students themselves assumed responsibility for recruiting fellow participants. Touchstones staff designed and ran the custom program, secured meeting space and handled organizational logistics, and provided all program materials to the participants. For most participants, involvement in this program also served to meet some of the service requirements for the International Baccalaureate program.
Throughout the program, participants built portfolios that included their program readings and worksheets, as well as extended written responses to specific issues related to civic leadership. When asked to reflect on the importance of critical evaluation of expertise in relation to leadership, one participant offered this insightful response:
“Expertise usually enables one to attain the place of greatest power and authority in one’s field. Experts are typically assumed to be leaders; however, this is dangerous because then many of the things they say can be irrefutable and assumed to be correct. Often time, even experts can be incorrect and it is important to recognize this.”
As was the case with the 2011 Civic Leadership Program, all participants committed to a full day of community service. This group decided to participate and support National Night Out in Anne Arundel County, where they staffed the face-painting table and monitored children’s activities in one of Annapolis’s communities with public housing.
View a Letter of Thanks from the Annapolis Police Department.