With the help of Patric Anjos, a Leadership & Civic Engagement Fellow with the AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellowship, the Stoughton Youth Commission is forming a Leadership Institute to help high schoolers develop their leadership skills and learn about their leadership style.
"You don't have to be in your face; that's [just] one style," Anjos said. He said he wants the students who participate to realize the importance of "not trying to be someone else," but rather becoming "a leader in their own right."
There is an open house at the Stoughton Senior Center/Youth Commission building (110 Rockland St.) Nov. 1 from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. where high school-aged students will be able to sign up for the program.
Anjos said the group will meet weekly, with the first meeting taking place from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. There will be a monthly trip to a ropes course in Braintree, sponsored by the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office.
He said the program is developed in such a way that it ties the youth back into the community - each member will do a pair of community-oriented service projects or activities over the course of the school year.
"I want them to develop a sense of community," Anjos said.
Anjos is a graduate student at Northeastern University studying global studies and international affairs, with a specialization in global health. The goal of his fellowship program is to "empower youth to become civically engaged leaders and public health advocates in their community." He is also an advisor for the Youth in Government program at the YMCA.
As an undergraduate at Bridgewater State University, the Taunton native worked with high schoolers and enjoys working with this age group.
"I like that they are eager to learn and try different things," he said. "And, they are funny."
Where his fellowship is a one-year program, so is this Stoughton Leadership Institute, but Anjos said it has the potential for becoming a long-term program.
"I would like the program to be sustainable," he said, adding that he is "laying down the groundwork and infrastructure to make that happen" so it lasts beyond this year.
For more information about the Stoughton Leadership Institute, come to the open house on Nov. 1 If you cannot make it, email Anjos at firstname.lastname@example.org. He said students can signup until the group's first meeting on Nov. 8.