Local Youth participate in a leadership program hosted at Eastern Arizona College

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Building Community Youth Leaders (BCYL), a leadership development program for teens, held their first-ever kick-off camp and workshop entitled “Leadership- an Art of Possibility”. Held on Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, local teens were invited to participate in workshops and leadership-building activities. BCYL is promoted, managed, and directed by the Rotary Club of Gila Valley and the Rotary Club of Safford- this allows our youth to learn from local business and professional leaders and build relationships with our community leaders.  

The kickoff camp featured multiple exercises and activities for the teens to be introduced to leadership concepts and begin to apply these skills in real-world scenarios. Activities that the team participated in included teams working together to get all teammates over a 10-foot wall, untangling themselves from the “Human Knot” without releasing their hands, helping all team members pass through a “spider web”, racing together on giant skis, and watching the movie Hoosiers while looking for 11 skills of leadership. 

The Building Community Youth Leaders program works in conjunction with Gila Valley Leadership and is designed to build students’ confidence, develop skills, and learn how to find resources to grow, learn, and lead. The most integral part of the BCYL program is teamwork.

The program was created with inspiration and direction from the book “Team Leadership Skills for Teens- Youth Leading Youth” by Brian T. Phelps. The book goes over the key components of leadership including vision, communication, organization, and synergism. BCYL combines these teaching tactics to empower the youth of Graham and Greenlee counties to be proactive in their communities.

BYCL was created to help our local teenagers become responsible and caring adults, foster relationships with those they are surrounded by, and ultimately become exceptional leaders now and in the future. BCYL is generously sponsored by United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties, Freeport-McMoRan, Eastern Arizona College, Life Net, Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, and the Graham County Chamber of Commerce.