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Enhancing Leadership: A Fresh Perspective on Leadership Days 2023

Leadership Days, our annual event focused on leadership and teamwork, is set to evolve in a meaningful way this year. We're excited to introduce a new approach to make this experience even more enriching for our Jobs for Michigan's Graduates (JMG) youth statewide. This year, we're delighted to welcome Richard Szwaja, an accomplished Organization Development and Learning Specialist from the Bronson Center for Learning, who will be joining us at all our locations. He brings with him a transformative approach, reframing our focus by incorporating two vital CASEL framework competencies: self-awareness and self-management.

Self-awareness and self-management are essential for effective leadership. They help us recognize the thoughts and feelings driving our behaviors. Whether it's unmet expectations, values being ignored, past hurts, fear of the unknown, or the dread of failure, these emotions can manifest in various behaviors. Self-awareness helps us understand our actions' reasons, while self-management enables us to choose more effective leadership responses over reactions.

Richard will set the tone for each day with an engaging opener. Guiding questions during camp activities will encourage attendees to link self-awareness and self-management with their daily experiences. Insightful debrief sessions to conclude the day will provide a chance for reflection and growth.

Richard shares his vision, saying, "I aim to connect leadership with social-emotional skills and provide opportunities for our youth to see how self-awareness and self-management directly enhance their leadership presence."

Our goal is to ensure that the knowledge gained at Leadership Days extends beyond a single occasion and has a lasting impact throughout the program year. We encourage our JMG youth who attend Leadership Days to collaborate with their JMG specialists in sharing their knowledge, assisting their peers who couldn't attend, and helping in the development of self-management and self-awareness skills. This not only benefits the individual youth but also contributes to the betterment of their JMG programs and communities.

During Leadership Days 2023, we anticipate a day of growth, self-discovery, and empowerment for our JMG youth in attendance. This innovative approach, blending leadership with vital social and emotional skills, provides a lasting impact that will extend well beyond October 2023.

Leadership Days 2023 will be hosted at three different locations on separate dates:

  • October 10 - Camp Daggett, Petoskey MI

  • October 23 - YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin, Middleville MI

  • October 24 - YMCA Camp Ohiyesa, Holly, MI

If you are interested in learning more about ways you can partner with us to provide meaningful experiences for Michigan’s youth, contact us on our website.


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