Learning & Leadership: Local students build skills over summer

Chippewa Falls, WI (WEAU) - It's the final month of summer vacation for most local kids and that means planning last minute cookouts, slumber parties and vacations.

But for some students, learning leadership skills has been marked on the calendar. Voyagers Community Learning Center provides tools to succeed in everyday life for Chippewa Falls Middle school and High school students. This summer, they're gaining the experience they need by having fun and understand one's sense of power, purpose and worth.

"The Chippewa District has a partnership with Marshfield Clinic. The center for community outreach to bring nationwide trainers to teach teens about leadership skills and making positive decisions,” said Jennifer Griggs-Andress, Director of Voyagers Community Learning Center.

For leader David Barreto, it’s about getting kids engaged.

"We’re here to change people's minds you know get them to think about their future, instead of just thinking about now you know. Get them like what am I doing now to help my future,” said David Baretto, Focus on Community

After completing icebreakers, 74 students in 6-12th grade, learned more about themselves and how to be a leader.

"We looked at different things we're good at and we shared those characteristics with our group and we categorized them. Then we learned about sparks and things that interest us,” said Noah Mutter Schultz, Junior Chippewa Falls H.S.

"Sparks and what you're interested in but you're passionate about and what you'd like to do as a career someday,” said Emma Eslinger, 6th grader.

"Our belief in Voyagers is that all students have potential to be leaders so we want to help enhance that and help give them additional skills to do that,” said Griggs-Andress.

Even peer to peer teaching has proven to help kids, especially on a summer day.

"Anyone can step up to their full potential and show everyone they can actually be a real leader,” said Barreto.