Testimonials—Young Leaders Program


Young Leaders Program – 2017

The youth participants in the Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 9 on a scale of 1-10.

97 percent of youth participants stated that they would recommend the Young Leaders Program to a friend. 95 percent stated that the Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

 In Their Own Voices!
Quotes from Youth Participants
Young Leaders Program 2017

The different sessions taught me new skills that I could develop to help me in the real world. It was a very unique experience.

-Isun Mahin-Torabi, Jeb Stuart High School

My favorite part of the YLP program is having different sessions that taught different things. I enjoyed meeting new people who use leadership and have a meaningful career.

-Monica Thu Do, Jeb Stuart High School

I have learned to convert my pain and anger into passion that will motivate me to be great.

-Sayla Faison, School Without Walls

The program gave me more confidence about overcoming my fears and gave me more leadership skills to succeed on my future projects.

-Diego Feliciano, Annandale High School

Tony’s lesson on passion opened my eyes to how we can transform anything negative in our lives into something good to meet our overall vision.

-Lena Ebadi, Jeb Stuart High School

The Young Leaders Program has inspired me to go the extra mile in everything positive that I do and has helped me better equip myself in the search for the right college.

-Utopia Diabe, Lanham Christian School

One thing I learned in YLP is how to channel experiences into passion and how to use that to an advantage. I also have gained confidence in my abilities and my potential. I feel ready to go out in the real world and make a difference.

-Marafi Badr, Jeb Stuart High School

I really enjoyed listening to the different perspectives of other high school students who were a few years older than me. I’ve always wanted to be more aware of events happening around me, and listening to discussions has encouraged me to do so.

-Isabella Grady, Eleanor Roosevelt High School

Because of this program, I have learned how to gain confidence in myself and my actions. Also, that taking risks is OK.

-Roberto Mata, Falls Church High School

Young Leaders Program – 2016

The youth participants in the Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 9.1 on a scale of 1-10.

100 percent of youth participants stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 90 percent stated that the Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

 In Their Own Voices!
Quotes from Youth Participants
Young Leaders Program 2016

What I liked the most about the Young Leaders Program was the way Anthony treated us, he treated us like his clients and not just as teenagers so he didn’t dumb down anything. I loved how friendly and helpful the staff, guest speakers, and the other students were.

-Michael Dua, J.E.B. Stuart High School

The Program has helped me to open my mind, to be more clear. I can’t understand all the things they talked about but now I know how to be social with others and how I can be a good leader. I learned that the bigger the sacrifice the better the results.

-Marisol Villalobos, Next Step PCS

I learned about things you never hear or heard Anthony say. It changes the way you think in a good way, you feel more confident after you leave the program. The program also showed me that money is not everything that I could be making millions but be unhappy. It showed me that you can turn your suffering into a passion.

-Mauricio Lopez-Batres, Annandale High School

I loved the panels. I thought it was great getting to know people who have made it in the real world by allowing them to answer personal questions. It gave me a sense of hope and allowed me to learn and believe that I can also be successful in the real world. The program also made me more eager to pursue my dream to be in a career that will always allow me to learn new and innovative things while helping people at the same time.

-Sharon Arnez, J.E.B. Stuart High School

The Program helped me get a better understanding of leadership and what steps I should take to discover my passion. Before I didn’t know what to do, or what steps to take, or how to get a job in anything now because of the YLP and the Speakers that they brought to the lessons, I know what to do and who to talk to.

-Grace Senzano, Falls Church High School

The Young Leaders Program surpassed my expectations. I learned that being a leader doesn’t mean take charge and make all the decisions, it means that sometimes you have to step aside and let others have a voice.

-Sabina Vitola, Fairfax High School

The lectures we were given were life changing. The thing I will take away from this the top of my list is passion comes from suffering, it changed my perception completely about life. I learned life skills that you don’t learn in school but are essential for our success.

-Melisa Sejas Zenteno, J.E.B. Stuart High School

I learned great social skills by working with others and talking to other professionals. The program honestly helped me see high school as a bigger impact on my life that I did before. It has also caused me to want to do more things outside of school relating to my career.

-Jazzelle Delaney, McKinley Technology High School

One of the most important leadership lessons I learned was to turn pain into passion because not everything will be easy in life and with pain you can turn it to hard work and achieve your goals. The program wasn’t just on leadership, it was also about interviews, college, resume, race, gender, and so much more.

-Shirle Hinojosa, J.E.B. Stuart High School

The most important thing I learned about leadership is to have empathy towards your peers. The program gave me a really good knowledge and understanding for the things I will face in the future, including in my career path.

-Marc Barreda, Chantilly High School

The program has taught me to look deeper within myself to figure out my passion and follow it. It also taught me to turn my pain into passion.

-Bao-Tran Thai, Falls Church High School

Young Leaders Program – 2015

The youth participants in the Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 8.9 on a scale of 1-10.

100 percent of youth participants stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 96 percent stated that the Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

 In Their Own Voices!
Quotes from Youth Participants
Young Leaders Program 2015

I liked how we were treated in the program with respect and love. The Young Leaders Program helped me to be a better person and give back to other. Do what you love… Stay positive… Help others… You have to be a good leader to your followers.

-Fali Mandefro, Falls Church High School

I got to meet and interact with a fantastic group of people. Everyone here is so supportive and brilliant and they encourage me to do my best. The program gave me such a wonderful experience… I learned how to improve my confidence like I wanted. I gained so much more insight that I would never have learned in school… I have to trust myself and have confidence in my abilities. I have to be able to love myself unconditionally. Now, I will be able to be more socially confident. I can be content with who I am and what I can do.

-Aira Matis, TC Williams High School

I loved the conversations we held as a group, we all had something to share. It pushed us all out of our comfort zone… I am a lot more confident in myself.

-Shayla Avila, Wakefield High School

The Young Leaders Program helped me feel more confident in a social and public setting. I got to network with professional adults which could help me in the future. I also enjoyed all the skills that were added to my knowledge about leadership and the interactive activities really allowed me to learn.

- Dani Lopez, Yorktown High School

Confidence is key… Honesty will always prevail… The Young Leaders Program helped me take college more serious.

-Jada Williams, Oakton High School

The Young Leaders Program helped me consider many other careers that I wasn’t even thinking of before coming to the program… It was a great experience… A leader is built not born.

-Marlon Perez Hernandez, High Point High School

I loved the speakers, the program was awesome, and an opportunity to get to know yourself.

-Wendy Marquez-Rubio, J.E.B. Stuart High School

Now I know that I do not have to depend on people, I can just follow my dreams with no one interrupting it… The program showed me to never give up on myself and to be thankful each day, to decide my own choices and not be a follower.

-Yanina Urquizo, Cardozo High School

The Young Leaders Program changed my perspectives and thoughts about myself and society… It has affected the way I look at what I would like to do in my career by picking a career that I love and have a passion about it… A few important leadership lessons I have learned is having confidence, empathy, and time management. I will apply these lessons in my life by using it in the future like in my job and personal life.

-Elaine Leow, J.E.B. Stuart High School

I am now able to communicate with others and able to speak in public more… I feel more positive and excited than nervous and negative about going to college.

-Emily Silva, Falls Church High School

The Young Leaders Program exceeded my expectations, ample supply of sources for leadership including books, lessons, panelists, and life coaching as well as college… The program changed my life and I look forward to being a beneficial part of society who is a successful leader.

-Renzo Ortiz, J.E.B. Stuart High School

I would recommend the Young Leaders Program to my friends because it was amazing and I feel that everyone should get the opportunity to learn all the skills we learned… It has made me a lot more confident and has encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone and get more involved.

-Zahnib Kalsoom, J.E.B. Stuart High School

Young Leaders Program – 2014

The youth participants in the Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 8.8 on a scale of 1-10.

97 percent of youth participants stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 97 percent stated that the Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

In Their Own Voices!
Quotes from Youth Participants

Young Leaders Program 2014

Before, I was just a girl who used to listen to everyone but myself. I felt like I couldn’t do things because I wasn’t good enough. The Young Leaders Program taught me that I should trust myself, that I should be confident, and that I can do anything I put my mind to.

- Noelia Montecinos, Jeb Stuart High School

When you get, you give. When you learn, you teach.
Everything is a learning experience.
I plan to think positive, be confident, be focused, and never give up.

- Sadonia Sylvester, Falls Church High School

I know now that I can’t stay in a corner waiting for a spotlight. You have to find the spotlight. I learned that I should never give up on something I really want. It’s difficult to wait, but worse to regret. Leadership is truly an evolution. It’s up to me to take a chance, a risk, a leap of faith. We as people are nothing else but what we make of ourselves. We are the change.

- Shayna Flores, Falls Church High School

I learned that the moment you find a job you love, you don’t have to work anymore.

- Efuna Nyarku, Woodstream Christian Academic High School

An important lesson I learned from the Young Leaders Program is not to compare myself to others. By comparing, I am following those people. What I need to do is be a leader! I should only compare myself to the person I was yesterday and be the best “me” I can be every day. I want to make a change and inspire others… Also, I loved the atmosphere of working in the university business school.

- Solome Mesfin, JEB Stuart High School

I would definitely recommend the Young Leaders Program to my friends. The program strengthened my leadership skills… and taught me how to manage my time… I will apply these lessons to my life… At first I planned to be a difficult boss that only cared about results. Now I know that I need to be an empathetic boss that cares about my employees too.

- Terrance Clark II, SEED Public Charter School

Not many can say they got an experience like this. I am blessed that I can and hope to be back again… This program increased my drive… I plan to live my life differently because of the Young Leaders Program. Everyday is a blessing, and a new day to do all you can to leave a legacy behind. 

- Darryn Jackson Jr, Dr Henry A Wise Jr Senior High School

I will take my passion and use it to make a change in the world.

- Gabrielle Edwards, Thomas Stone High School

The Young Leaders Program has affected my career choices. It really enforced the idea that I need to find a career that connects with my passions and interests. It taught me to find my purpose. The YLP opened up career options which I did not believe were possible before.

- Karissa Avignon, Jeb Stuart High School

I learned that you need to find something greater than yourself in life. We are naturally selfish beings and this is why most of us fail. Finding something greater means you could potentially find yourself. 

- Maya Travers, North Point High School

The Young Leaders Program gave me hope that I can accomplish my goals. I am more confident about college and actually looking forward to it!

- Paige Chatmon, Charles Herbert Flowers High School

I like that I met people that have the same problems as me. I don’t feel as alone. We all got stronger and learned about leadership together.

- Diatto Paige, Perry Street Prep High School

I have been to many leadership programs, but the Young Leaders Program is different. The YLP is determined to make a difference and teach us all about leadership. I feel like I have grown as a person… I see life and myself through a different perspective now. The YLP helped me understand that I need to be a leader for myself… That I need to care for and appreciate myself first.

- Grecia Cardenas, Jeb Stuart High School

The Young Leaders Program went above and beyond my expectations… The assistance I received on my resume was really helpful… I have realized that it’s OK to make mistakes. I can work on my weaknesses but I should focus more on my strengths.

- Blain Hailemariam, Jeb Stuart High School

I learned not to give up on my dreams. I feel less shy, and more ready to share my thoughts and be a leader.

- Maria Magdaleno, JEB Stuart High school

There is an abundance of fun activities. There was always something fun and creative to do…. I thought that it was too soon to think about college, but I learned that I can and should start preparing myself.

- Deniz Lopez Jimenez, Jeb Stuart High School

The Young Leaders Program exceeded my expectations. I did not expect to learn as much as I did in only one week… I feel more confident in pursuing my goals in life and will likely shoot for higher goals. 

- Solomon Faison, Sidwell Friends High School

Gallup Young Leaders Program—2013

The youth participants in the Gallup Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 8.6 on a scale of 1-10.

96 percent of youth participants stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 100 percent stated that the Gallup Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

In Their Own Voices!
Quotes from Youth Participants

Gallup Young Leaders Program 2013

The Young Leaders Program exceeded my expectations.  I thought that things would go on for too long, and that it would be boring; but it wasn’t….I love and respect the fact that our mentors for the program had so much patience with us…I learned how to create action plans and vision statements [and] project my ideas and my voice a little better; to fully use my potential…I tried to get out of my comfort zone a little more because I have learned it’s really beneficial.

– Effy Nyarku, Woodstream Christian Academy

Empathy is something I’ve always skipped over.  Now that I am older, I value the importance of that lesson; appreciating, understanding, and learning to put myself in the shoes of others is important for a leader…This program has motivated me to overcome my challenges, value life for what it is, take charge of my life by finding more balance, and continue following my dreams…Thank you so much; waking up in the morning is a struggle but this program reminds me that waking up [early] is worth it; contributing to the discussions is worth it.

–Katherine Valdavinos, Northern Virginia Community College

I liked how I’ve made new friendships with new people, and learned more about the people I know but never really talked to…I learned that in order for people to trust you, you [first] have to trust them by caring about their needs.  I also enjoyed the experience and how helpful this was in making my leadership skills better….I plan on participating in more clubs next school year so I can apply the skills I learned about leadership.”

–Jose David Cruz-Valeriano, Jeb Stuart High School

The program is fun and interesting; we get together as a group and learn to be better….I liked the time we got to spend with each other and the talks about balancing life….I realize that I should take time to listen to the whispers so that I don’t have to hear the screams.

–Miguel Colon, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School

I have learned that leaders must be trustworthy; people listen to leaders they trust…Everyone can improve and benefit from this program; it has affected my thoughts about college and what I want to do as a career.  I have so much to think and talk about; I have never in my life thought about my future as deeply as I do now.

–Cyree Bethea, Washington Math Science & Technology Charter School

I enjoyed the opportunity I received to meet new people and talk with professionals.  These discussions helped me realize what faults I need to work on in order to accomplish my goals.  The Young Leaders Program taught me that my career should be one I’m passionate about; I plan to set specifric action plans to help achieve my goals and spend less time on social media networks.

–Nicki McEaddy, Elizabeth Seaton High School

In order to be a good leader, you have to know how to lead your own life and you have to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are leading.  I plan to think more about others and what they go through in order to understand how to lead them better.  I liked all the speakers who came in and talked to us; also, I like the time-management lessons.

–Tyrone Patterson III, Sidwell Friends School

I liked the field trips the most because it allowed us to bond and grow closer together – making the program run smoother.  The Young Leaders Program helped me put my life more in balance and make it less stressful.  Also, because of the program I will try to connect with different races and talk with them.

–Sam Moore, Maret School

This program is excellent for students who want to improve how they look at life; it provides the skills to help students believe in themselves and it gives students an opportunity to think about their future…I like the way Mr. Tony spoke to us and all that he explained to be able to become a leader; he was very interactive and he made us realize what we can do now to discover our passions.  I also learned how to improve my speaking and presentation skills in front of everybody in the program.  Some of the most important leadership lessons I learned included changing my bad habits, applying new goals in life, and becoming more confident in myself.

–Nathalia Morales, Jeb Stuart High School


Gallup Young Leaders Program—2012

The youth participants in the Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 9.2 on a scale of 1-10.

97 percent of the low-income youth who participated stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 100 percent stated that the Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

Quotes from Youth Participants
Gallup Young Leaders Program 2012

This program was truly life altering. Even though it only lasted for a week (unfortunately), it was rigorous, and taught us all not only about being an exceptional leader, but also about how to improve ourselves, our community, and eventually the world. The atmosphere was very enlightening, and I got to not only be surrounded by a group of hard-working peers, but also got to meet instructors that sincerely cared about my personal development and opened a new window of opportunities. To be honest, the Young Leaders Program exceeded my expectations. I have gone to several ‘leadership’ seminars, but none that taught this in depth, and allowed me to further analyze myself to develop develop my very own [underline hers] philosophy (not one pressed on me).

–Cynthia P. Aguirre Parada, Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect/Jeb Stuart High School

This program affected my career because it taught me to find my passion and to find what I really want to do in my life and strive for it. I learned passion, empathy, resilience, self-confidence, and much more that will help me be a successful person in life….I learned to keep striving in life and not to give up. I give many thanks to the people who put this forth and gave me this opportunity. Thank you very much.

–David Martinez, Barrie School

This program has changed my life completely. It made me stronger and it has taught me so many things. I was going through a lot of stuff before I came, but now everything has changed. I learned how to love myself, be more confident, think before saying things, treat others like you would want to be treated, forgive others, move on, and turn all the pain into passion. I’m so glad I came to this program; this is something I really needed in my life. I feel different, and I would love to come back next year because this week has been amazing and is something I will remember forever. Thank you for everything.

–Jackelyn Gamez Chinchilla, Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect/Jeb Stuart High School

One of the important lessons I have learned in the Young Leaders Program is that a leader is not based on how they can lead others, but on how they choose to conduct themselves by having a humble attitude as well as a selfless attitude. I will apply these lessons by being motivated and motivating others, even through difficult times. I will show respect towards others 100% of the time.

–Shariff Ogunloye, Walter Johnson High School

What I liked about the program was that the sponsors taught me to open up to a crowd and to be brave and bold. The way I plan to live my life now is to be brave and bold and to have self-confidence because if someone out there can do it, I know I can do it too. I have that will like everyone else. The Young Leaders Program met my expectations because I thought you had to be someone BIG to be in a program like this, but really you just have to be yourself.

–Reina Segovia, Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect/Jeb Stuart High School

The Young Leaders Program helped to create a vision of what I want and how to achieve it. The most important lessons I learned were self-confidence and passion. Those are the main lessons that relate to me because I am shy at times, so I need more self-confidence. Also, I learned that passion comes from pain and suffering, and I have been through a lot. I plan to use this passion for my dance and music producer career. I plan to live my life differently because of the leadership lessons I learned by stepping up more as a leader and not being in the background. Also, I will meditate to keep calm and relax myself after a long day.

–William Medley II, Bishop McNamara High School

I liked how the Young Leaders Program helped me with my stage fright because at first, I didn’t like getting in front of people and reading, but now I don’t really have a problem doing it. A couple of leadership lessons I learned were that anyone can be a leader, and you’ve got to know yourself and be true to yourself if you want to lead other people. I plan to live my life differently now because even though you might think that no one is paying attention, you’re always going to have people look up to you.

–Yasmin Scott, Oxon Hill High School

I thought the Young Leaders Program would be boring and teach me things I’ve been told a million times over, but this program was very inspiring to me. Tony’s way of thinking is enlightening, and the concepts/exercises are actually worth doing. Not only is this about leadership, but also about learning love, passion, and respect. This was like a year’s worth of meditation/ truth searching in one week. I expected none of it. Bringing in panelists and guest speakers with amazing stories and different backgrounds has inspired me to think differently. These were everyday people who chose to seize the opportunity of success, and I can be as great as any one of them.

–Levon Lucas, Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect/Jeb Stuart High School

 Before coming to the Young Leaders Program, I didn’t think that I’d be able to go to college or if I had what it takes. After spending a week here, I now not only believe in myself, but I know that I can get to college and that there are many opportunities out there for me. I just have to look for them. Now I know I’ll go to college, no matter what.

–Ruhma Abbas, Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect/Jeb Stuart High School


Gallup Young Leaders Program—2011

The youth participants in the Gallup Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 8.7 on a scale of 1-10.

100 percent of the low-income youth who participated stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 100 percent stated that the Gallup Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

Quotes from Youth Participants
Gallup Young Leaders Program 2011

Thank you for reading my book and giving me advice on how it is. I enjoyed your session on how to balance life, work and school. I have a better understanding of what a leader is because of the Gallup Young Leaders Program. Before I went to Gallup’s YLP I was always a kid that goes with the flow of other people. I just always follow other people. But I learned that it’s important to be your own leader and thank you for helping me learn that.  I will continue writing and hope that I will publish my first book next year with a special thanks to you.

— Camille E. Lee, McKinley Tech

The Gallup Young Leaders Program affected the way I look at going to college because all of the people here went to or go to college, so not going to college is not an option, and they express how important it is to go. I plan to focus more on college and what I want to be in life before it is too late.

— Rashard Lyles, Phelps

I plan to live my life differently because of the leadership lessons I learned in The Gallup Young Leaders Program. I plan to stick out more among my peers and be an even better leader. I will try to help them and guide them when needed and not turn them down; Instead be there every step of the way.

— Derrick Robinson, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School

I would recommend The Gallup Young Leaders Program to a friend because it really inspires you to change your life into the life you want it to be… Because of GYLP I live my life differently: according to my vision statement. Instead of going blindly into life I have a well-defined plan that supports my vision statement.

— Amiel Lumbre, Gonzaga College High School

A few important lessons I learned are that passion is derived from pain and a vision statement inspires you to move forward. I plan on making several vision statements. I will apply them when I am looking for jobs, colleges, and when I want to change the community. I will turn my pain into passion and live for my own approval.

— Angelique Sargent, Georgetown Visitation

I want to make a change in the world because this program has taught me that one person can make a big difference.

— Michelle Mendoza, McKinley Tech

I learned more about being a responsible person in these last five days than I ever have.

— Taevon McKeithan, Washington Jesuit Academy

Gallup Young Leaders Program—2010

The youth participants in the Gallup Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 8.4 on a scale of 1-10.

100 percent of the low-income youth who participated stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 100 percent stated that the Gallup Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

Quotes from Youth Participants,
Gallup Young Leaders Program 2010

I think the skills I wanted to know, I learned them. I feel I could use them in my everyday life… If I want something to change, I have to go and make it happen. Nobody else will. There are no excuses, I’m a leader now… I plan to go after my dreams and not take “no” for an answer. One of the things that I learned was that “no” just means yes, but there is something extra you have to do. Therefore, when someone tells me “no” I’m going to stay persistant and try again until I get what I want. After this program, I’m on a mission to go to a college of my choice on a full ride, achieve great grades, then later change the world. I don’t know for sure how I’m going to change the world yet, but I’m determined to have a major impact on at least one person in my life…I’m ready to take on that challenge.

— Julius Johnson, Bishop McNamara

The program actually exceeded my expectations… I would definitely recommend this program to a friend… As a matter of fact, the very first day I recommended several others to participate in this program next year. It provides information that is essential for a high school student to know…Coming into this program I was very anxious and nervous about going out and finding the right college as well as finding a job. After the program I feel ready and excited to go out and find my purpose in life. It was the push I needed to jumpstart my life as a young adult.

— Rosse Ariscain, Robert E. Lee High School

It (Gallup YLP) has helped me to see that I want to pursue a career where I am helping others. A career that I just won’t see as a job but a place where I can further more pursue my passion.

— Shaakira Jackson, Georgetown Visitation Preporatory School

I liked being around other kids who wanted to do better in life… I would highly recommend this to any of my friends because it really opens your eyes and makes people want the best in life.

— Trey Pitt, Leesburg Christian School

It is impossible to truly give justice to the ways that Gallup YLP has changed my life for the better. The way in which they taught us tools for the work world in an understandable fashion was nothing short of amazing. All of the speakers/panelists told us how we can better ourselves from this point on and I anticipate that the Gallup YLP has not only done incredible things for me, but for others as well.

— Tyler Sheppard, Magruder High School

It (Gallup YLP) has taught me to pursue my career and to make a stable action plan to enforce my plans or goals. This program has taught me to develop my communication skills and to never be afraid to go for what I want… I have learned that a person needs a long term goal as well as a short term goal in their life. A long term goal will help you stay on track because you will always work hard on achieving it.

— Zahida Noor, Annandale High School

10 [out of 10 rating]! because it did help me what I was struggling the most: confidence and communication… I will be confident from now on at anything that I do or think. I will also, like always, stay true to myself no matter what. I will try my best to keep up my good work and I will apply to as many opportunities I have in front of me because now I know that I can do anything I have in mind.

— Julio Gonzalez, Mt. Vernon High School

I have really learned a lot coming to this program…now I know what goals to set based on what I want to do. I got a chance to talk with a mentor who studied what I’m really considering for college.

— Deronte Artis, T. C. Williams High School

The Gallup Young Leaders Program did meet my expectations because I’m leaving with something that I will be able to take with me and share with others as I go through life… I have a new found sense of direction and I can make decisions for me and stand by them.

 — Aaron Phillips, Newmann University

Yes (Gallup YLP has affected the way I look at going to college), because before I was kind of doubting going to college. But now that I have all this knowledge and I know that I want to do and that it is not always about money but being passionate about what I do, I am going to try my hardest to get into college and be a great leader. Money is not everything. You have to be passionate about what you do. Also you have to show empathy to others to be a great leader. Another thing that I will do to apply these things in my work life is try to understand people better and get everyone’s opinion.

— Dallas Kellar, Magruder High School

I felt the lessons learned in this program were really valuable and will make a difference in my life… This program has changed how I will choose my career as far as it being something that I feel passionate about and that my leadership can contribute to… Also I will remember that I control myself, my emotions, and actions and that no one can make me feel something that I don’t let them. With this I will be more positive and outgoing and less afraid to try new things and meet new people.

— Aamira Jackson, Georgetown Visitation

Balancing work, life and school was a really big wake up call for me, which helped me realize that I need to prioritize at times and not fall to what seems more appealing. I also learned about public speaking and how my opinion counts and is important as much as if a man were saying it (race, gender, and authenticity). I learned that being a leader is making sure that my five strengths are used at my greatest potential and I know that my strengths can lead me to what I’m really good at and what I’m passionate about.

— Gracia Gamarra, Chantilly High School

Instead of saying I want to go to college and be whatever just so I can make lots of money, I would say I want to go to college so I can discover my true passion and be successful at it in my career (and not just work cause I have to). I no longer want to have a job I don’t enjoy just to make money. I would want a job that I love and appreciate and don’t have a problem going each and every morning.

— Imani Graham, SEED Public Charter School

Gallup Young Leaders Program—2009

The youth participants in the Gallup Young Leaders Program gave the overall program a rating of 9.1 on a scale of 1-10.

100 percent of the low-income youth who participated stated that they would recommend the program to a friend. 100 percent stated that the Gallup Young Leaders Program met or exceeded their expectations.

Quotes from Youth Participants,
Gallup Young Leaders Program 2009

I’ve learned so much in this program, I’ve learned what my passion is, and how I can use it to be a leader and have a vision. I finally know how to interact with people and relate with others. I have knowledge of what a good leader is. It definitely met my expectations of learning, now that it is going to be over, I will put those things I’ve learned into practice and act.

— Andrea Chilo Bejarano, Yorktown High School

    What I liked most about this program is the way everything that we learn eventually makes its way into a group discussion. I like learning and experiencing other’s views, this program is great in that department. It went above my expectations by keeping me engaged in all the activities by the effective way that Tony Silard and other guests teach leadership and life skills.

— Eduardo Roca, Edison High School

The Gallup Young Leaders program affected the way I look at what I want to do in my career by helping me understand how my strengths apply to me and affect my career choices. It met my expectations because I am now no longer ignorant on what makes a successful leader.

— Dominiqua Eldrige, Bishop Mc Namara High School

I feel it was very informative; the adults were very compassionate about the message. The program met my expectations, and not only that, but it surpassed them. The sessions were engaging and because of that I was able to grasp all the information well.

— Mitia B,  Friendship Collegiate Academy

I like that the program was so informative, it opened my eyes a lot about being self aware. I always thought of myself as a leader but I never knew being self-aware was a key part. I liked being able to always speak freely. I think the program went above my expectations because I didn’t expect such a wonderful experience with the other students. The speakers, like Tony, came and blew me away with the information that was given.

— Michael Wright, Dematha Catholic High School

Some of the leadership lessons I learned were to always have passion, resilience, empathy, truth and that by making a vision statement and action plan I can create what I want to stand for in my life.

— Nina Nesbitt, Georgetown Day School

I loved the fact that I met new people in this program. The interview and resume section was very helpful. When people got involved and the speakers were informative and helpful, the session became much more engaging. The program met my expectations because it went into detail about our strengths and about what we can give and get back in the world.

— Katherine Bendana, Bowie High School

 I liked that the program helps you to learn your strengths and what qualities you have, as well as to see what you have to do to improve to be better and how to overcome the problem.

— Kendall Marshall, Dematha Catholic High School

 I believe that the program was very informative and very beneficial to the bettering of my job life and/or school life. The sessions were great and the people who came to speak to us were very engaging and had a great deal of knowledge on what they were speaking about.

— Gregory Thomas, Friendship Edison High School

FBR (Friedrich, Billings & Ramsey) Young Leaders Program—2008

Quotes from Youth Participants,
Young Leaders Program 2008

I liked the fact that the Young Leaders Program addressed all of the challenges that I had in my life…I learned how to balance important things in my life, such as school, work, etc.  I will apply these lessons to my life by giving more to the things that I gave less to before I came here…I plan to become more honest and open in my life due to the Vision Statement/Action Plan that I was taught.  Also, I will try to listen more to my friends’ responses during conversations.

— Antonio Ross, Gonzaga College High School

I like the fact that we were introduced to plenty of people that could help us in the future…The Young Leaders Program met my expectations because it made me understand what it takes to become a leader.  From the beginning I thought it would make me a better leader, and it did…The vision statement workshop really helped me set up goals.  It taught me that in order to make your dream a reality, you need little goals that are S.M.A.R.T.

— Antjuan Washington, Archbishop Carroll High School

I would recommend the Young Leaders Program because it is a great experience to be able to get to know others and o learn about leadership… I learned that there are different ways to attain scholarships and that there are ways to find the right college for me.  The Young Leaders Program affected the way I look at what I want to do in my career because I could use my leadership qualities to influence others… I learned about empathy, passion and trust.  I can use those qualities to better myself and influence others in positive ways.

— Zachary Miles, Bishop McNamara High School

I liked the panel discussion with different topics the most.  It was a chance to participate in a debate with professionals in different careers and fields… The Young Leaders Program met my expectations and was a great way for meeting new people through networking… It is an eye-opening experience to grow mentally and spiritually…The YLP has further encouraged me to attend college and pursue a degree, and it has helped me gain an outlook on different career interests like marketing and social services.  The most important leadership lesson I learned is that a leader is a leader all the time.  I mean that a leader doesn’t give in to peer pressure and always thinks for themselves.

— Mike Streeter, Archbishop Carroll High School

The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations and more because of the panel visits and sessions that led me to think more and strive more to be a better leader…I would recommend the program to a friend because it was a chance of a lifetime…The Young Leaders Program helped me decide that I need to plan more and take action instead of just saying I want to be a writer…Being empathetic is the most important lesson I learned because many people fail to take a step back and be in someone else’s shoes.  I have decided to practice empathy more because it is a good characteristic that leaders should have… If you learn to stand up for what you believe not letting anyone change your mind, others will see your courage and begin to appreciate your leadership skills.

— Yvonne Ivey, Archbishop Carroll High School

I would recommend the Young Leaders Program because I think that there are plenty of people who need to use the skills that are taught here…One of the most important leadership lessons I’ve learned is how to conduct a meeting.  I will use this skill greatly with my band practices…I plan to become more outspoken of a person and to set more of an example as a role model by being the person that makes others question their values and hesitate on classifying actions as simply right or wrong.

— Ciero Kilpatrick, Blue Ridge School

  I feel like the program met my expectations because it taught me all the tools needed to be a good leader and then gave us a chance to use these tools…This program has made me want to do more work that gives back to the community…The most important leadership lessons I learned were collaboration and humility.  When I am in Equity Board/Club meetings I will collaborate with people from all grades to make sure that the whole school’s goals are met.  When I make a mistake, I will admit to it and allow others to help me correct it…I plan to not only look out for my class’s needs in my school government meetings but also help make sure those younger than me get the same opportunity.

— Dieneria Brown, National Cathedral School

The Young Leaders Program exceeded my expectations.  It was an excellent opportunity.  These are the things the students need to hear, and this is the perfect time in our lives to hear it… I would recommend it to someone of the same age and demographic as these students.  It is a near perfect fit… I love the idea of making work and life interconnected; to realize that what we do at work should be as meaningful to us as our personal relationships is crucial.  Leaders don’t just look for “great jobs”.  They find something important to do, something more than themselves.  The program makes that point very clear… One of the most important leadership lessons I have learned is that leadership equals bettering oneself and others in all aspects of life, not just making sure that things get done at work.

— Brian Chappeli

FBR (Friedrich, Billings & Ramsey) Young Leaders Program—2007


Quotes from Youth Participants,

Young Leaders Program 2007

What I liked most about the FBR Young Leaders Program were the group exercises, like skits, plays, and poems.  I liked the whole idea of going through a week of college.  I loved it….The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations because it was a new experience and it helped me become a stronger leader and a better friend….it has affected the way I look at going to college because it has helped me find ways to go to college and motivated me even further to go….I am going to live my life differently because I will take back with me these lessons and enlighten my friends in ways to show and prove true leadership….I would definitely recommend this program to a friend.  Any and all who can, should go.

— Jamel Richardson, Anacostia Senior High School

The parts I liked most about the FBR Young Leaders Program were all the information we received for college, the skits, and the project information for Youth Venture…The program met my expectations and was everything the paper said it to be.  It actually exceeded my expectations, it was better than I thought…I would definitely recommend the program to a friend because they can better themselves and become the great leaders I know they can be….The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at going to college because it has shown me better ways in going about how to prepare myself and choose the right college for me…. The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at what I want to do in my career because it has shown and given me the opportunity to enable myself to prepare and manage myself in a better way, so that when I have chosen it, making sure that it is something that I love to do….The most important leadership principle that I learned was empathy.  When I first came I didn’t know/get the full understanding of what it really means and now I do.  I also learned being called a leader doesn’t mean you have to be in the spotlight all the time, you can be behind the scenes.  The vision statement will help me out a lot.  I plan to use it all the time so when I have goals I will make them into reality….I am going to live my life differently now because I will use the vision statement a lot so I don’t
procrastinate anymore.

— Donnita Pugh, Oxen Hill High School

I enjoyed the group projects and discussions.  It helped me get to know the other youth more and it broke barriers between us….The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations because I think I can apply everything I learned from this program to my community and by doing that I think there will be less gang activity involving youth from my community and less street violence….The FBR Young Leaders  program has affected the way I look at going to college because it has given me the opportunity to see what colleges really want in an application and has also let me understand that I don’t have to feel insecure about the college I want to go to…The FBR Young Leaders Program affected the way I look at what I want do to in my career because I really want to have a profession as a doctor, but at the same time I don’t know if I’ll want to change in the future.  This program has been very helpful because it showed me that it’s ok if you’re unsure about the career that you want to go into… The most important leadership lesson I learned is that I can have a different view and I can be able to express it more easily.  I will be able to be more assertive with my decisions in life.

— Miguel Azucena, DeMatha High School

My favorite part of the FBR Young Leaders Program was the fact that I got to meet other people that I did not know before, also that it made me think about things in my life that I had challenges with….The FBR Young Leaders Program bettered my expectations because they did a hell of a job in being able to teach how to do things that will make us become successful….I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend because it is a great chance to meet new people and change different aspects of your life….One of the most important lessons I learned was putting things in perspective and looking at the bigger picture instead of the little picture which would make a person judgmental….I plan to live my life differently by living my life in a more organized way thanks to the lessons I have learned.  I also plan to be able to deal with disapproval.  Also I will be able to become a leader in a community that needs new and fresh leadership.

— Ray Wyder, Good Counsel High School

  My favorite part of the FBR Young Leaders Program were the leadership sessions.  More specifically session #3 “See others as they are not as you are.”…The FBR Young Leaders Program surpassed my expectations.  I did not think it would be as informative as it was.  It was actually better than I expected…I would recommend the program to a friend because it really gives you a chance to direct your life towards the best path….it has affected the way I look at what I want to do in my career because it has given me ways to approach my plans….The most important leadership principle I have learned is that as a leader you don’t always have to be in the forefront of situations.  You can be a leader in the background pushing others to their potentials.

— Tori Simone Wilds, Westlake High School

I most liked how Tony organized the sessions.  I liked how Tony taught the sessions and grabbed the students’ attention.  I also like the part where we guess who said a quote, and the panelists were very educational and helpful.  The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations and more.  I expected to learn a little bit, but Tony has by far exceeded my expectations with his quotes, his knowledge, the panelists, his book, and more….I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to my friends because I would want my friends to become leaders, and this program is transforming people into leaders…. The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at going to college because now I know what to do and what not to do on a college application.  I see college as a fun and exciting experience now instead of just being a burden….Some of the most important lessons I learned was a great leader is passionate, persistent, and well balanced.  I will be more balanced and persistent in all that I do.  I will also stay passionate….I will live my life differently because of the FBR Young Leaders Program because now I will be a leader 365 days a year.  I will be considerate of what my peers have to say.  I will be myself always.

— Darrián Carmichael, Bishop McNamara High School

The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations!  It has affected the way I look at going to college because now I’m more determined and willing to apply to different schools….The most important leadership lessons I learned in the FBR Young Leaders Program was talking about resilience, empathy, and passion.  Now that I’ve been taught these lessons, I understand what it takes to be a good leader.  With
these lessons taught to me I will be able to face challenges and
conquer them.

— Mary Sargent, Georgetown Visitation High School

   What I liked most about the FBR Young Leaders Program was the quality of the information.  Tony seemed like he had a lot of experience with the subject and was very passionate with what he was talking about…The FBR Young Leaders Program exceeded my expectations.  At first I thought it was going to be some motivational speakers, but I got information and skills I could actually use….I would recommend this program to friends because everyone deserves a plan to help them on their way through life….The FBR Young Leaders Program affected the way I look at going to college because now I’m more aware of what colleges want…The most important leadership lessons I learned are empathy, resilience, persistence, passion, and how to deal with rejection.  I will apply the lessons I learned by using these lessons in my career choice…I plan to use vision statements and action plans to help me set goals for myself.

— Kristopher Stith, Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts

The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations.  It gave me a chance to retain a lot of information that will be useful later on…I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend because it would help them to set realistic goals for themselves to become successful…. The most important leadership lessons I learned were empathy and time management.  I would apply these lessons to my life when it comes to school.  I would show empathy to my classmates when listening to their ideas (since I am the class treasurer).  I would use time management when doing my homework/class work/etc….I plan on living my life differently with the lessons I learned from the FBR Young Leaders Program by showing leadership not only when enforcing my student government position but also through my entire life.  I now know that leadership is not practiced just once, but always.

— Jerrod Travlee, Queen Anne High School

  What I liked most about the FBR Young Leaders Program were the opportunities to learn how to make a difference.  The vision statements are going to be great for all the youth.  Tony did a good job of explaining why this was important instead of just telling it to them… I can say this is a program that a lot of kids should have an opportunity to experience.  The FBR Young Leaders Program will develop great leaders….Definitely I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend.  I already have.  The reason is simple, my entire life I have been considered a leader and through this program, which was directed towards 16 year olds, I learned a considerable amount…. The FBR Young Leaders Program has changed the way I look at my career, I will now change my outlook on who are leaders, as well as put more effort into helping promote leadership and developing leaders….At the start of each quarter for academics, and season for sports, I plan to have my students and athletes develop a vision statement. It will also be my job to make sure that they are successful in completing their S.M.A.R.T. action plans.  I also will create a few for myself.  Definitely I will try to be more balanced in my life. I will live my life differently because of the leadership lessons I learned at the FBR Young Leaders Program by becoming a better leader in the workplace and I will actively pursue the development of leaders in my life.  I will also pursue opportunities to have this program involved with WJA.

— Howard Blue, Chaperone, Washington Jesuit Academy

I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend because it can teach you a lot of new and useful things to prepare for the future…. The FBR Young Leaders Program has strengthened the way I look at going to college because we had college students and alumni to tell us some great things to prepare us for college….The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at what I want to do with my career because it has helped me to write things down and take it one step at a time.  It helped me to create a vision statement and action plan to take me a step closer to reaching my goal of becoming an excellent NBA player.

— Jamal Lamar Quigley, IDEA Public Charter School

The FBR program met my expectations.  It taught the youth practical skills while also teaching them the habit of knowing themselves…I would recommend the program to more youth – the environment alone [at George Washington University] was very inspiring.  I also thing it called on the youth to stretch their minds…Even as a chaperone, being part of the program inspired me to action.  It was a good reminder of the need to conditionally recreate your life’s vision, and determine specific steps towards its realization…I learned the importance of being supportive and enthusiastic.  My attitude can affect the attitudes of the youth I work with, so it is important to remain positive and help provide energy.

— Katie Olson, Chaperone, FLY

The FBR Young Leaders Program was a chance for me to see that young people can start leading now.  I liked the experience of staying on a college campus…The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations because they taught good lessons on leadership…I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend because it changed my views on certain qualities that a leader should have…The FBR Young Leaders Program affected the way I look at what I want to do in my career.  Now I know that when searching for a career, I should think about what I’m passionate about.

— Jiell Richardson, Bishop McNamara High School

What I liked most about the FBR Young Leaders Program were the youth ventures.  It is such a great opportunity.  And I met people who had a lot of information about scholarships for high school and college….The FBR Young Leaders Program showed me what kind of people I want to work with. Mr. Walker is so nice and caring about everyone.  I would like to work with someone like him….At the FBR Young Leaders Program I learned to be nicer to people and not to judge people.  I learned to care about myself.  I have to be patient and consider other people’s feelings….I am going to live my life differently by focusing on what is important, which is my family.  I need to be more patient and care for them.  Also, I would like to be more like Mr. Walker.  He really cares about us.  He takes the time and effort to learn all of our names and talk to each and everyone of us.  He is a great person.

— Rebecca Medina, Good Counsel High School

I am a big fan of the content of the workshops/activities provided to participants in the FBR Young Leaders Program.  This was an executive-level goal setting, personal/leadership development, and management seminar that was tailored to and directed towards the needs of high school youth.  The work to increase their exposure to new places and ideas, broaden their horizons, raise their ambitions, and empower the youth to take action was thorough and effective…The FBR Young Leaders Program exceeded my expectations because of the substantive nature of the content, rigor of learning material as well as the opportunities, resources, and encouragement to take what was learned and out into action…I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to bright DC area youngsters and be willing to recruit individuals/groups for participation.  I think that elements of the program could and should be replicated into a leadership development college bound program with wider impact….Observing the FBR Young Leaders Program has been instructive for me to revise my life and how I attempt to go about achieving balance between my work/contributions to society, friends, family, partner, and self.  Also, working with the program has provided insights and understanding that I hope to apply in creating similar leadership development and social capital building programs for young people….The most important leadership lesson that I took away from the FBR Young Leaders Program is reconsidering how I approach goal setting and now making use of the vision statement-action plan model which can be a helpful exercise for providing direction in my life, as well as ventures/organizations that I start up, run, and manage.

— Bernard Holloway, Chaperone

The parts of the FBR Young Leaders Program that I liked most were the different principles the leader of the program taught us.  The overall presentation was nice and very informative…The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations because the exercises we did gave us excellent principles to use in our everyday life, especially “persistence”.

— Ebony McBeth, Friendship Collegiate Academy

What I liked most about the program was all the information we got. I would recommend this program to my friends because I believe they could learn a lot from this program and also benefit from it….The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way that I look at what I want to do in my career because I have learned that you first have to find the passion and define what your values really are and then find a career that will compliment those values.   The most important leadership lessons that I learned were:  Be passionate.  I will find what really interest me the most and go ahead and pursue it.  Be resilient.  Try to change things when they don’t work. Empathy. Although a leader must be empathetic, there must be a balance – I will take into consideration and listen to others… I am going to live my life differently now because I plan to continue developing my vision statement and action plans.

— Maria Cerón,  Watkins Mill High School

The parts of the FBR Young Leaders Program that I liked the most were the professional speakers and the interactive workshops where the students had to act out their opinions and ideas about specific subjects.  Also when the professional guests told their lives and stories about how they succeeded.  These workshops gave the students an idea of how real life is….The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations.  The program showed what to be a leader is by hitting all the right spots.  I have to add that the program went beyond my expectations because it talked about the students’ visions and actions for their lives…I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to friends because it talks about leadership, plans, goals, and how to succeed in life according to every individual…The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I view going to college because it made me really realize what a leader is and how to act like one.  Now, I am going to use the skills I’ve learned in the program and put them to use – not only in college, but in life…In my career I am going to use the skills I’ve learned by taking the chances that step in front of me and giving the best of me and always having a vision and action plan.  All what I’ve learned this week I’m going to pass it to other students that I will meet in the future.

— Alejandro Corral, Chaperone, Hispanic College Fund

The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations.  It was very enlightening and touching.  The people here are indeed professionals and leaders that teach.  I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend because it really does teach you the essentials to be a leader.  I can indeed say that I learned a lot of things I didn’t know….The most important leadership lesson that I learned is that there are people that do the ordinary extraordinarily well.  I will apply this to everything I do, doing it in an extraordinary fashion.  Another lesson is that with a vision you can build your future using SMART goals.  I will use this to plan myself and get things done right and on time.

— Aldo Leveroni Jr., Clarksburg High School

What I liked most about the program was the opportunity for my youth to interact with other diverse, well-rounded youth.  In addition, I enjoyed the outings and interactive activities, especially the movie which revealed several leadership themes… Involving the panelists with the youth was awesome, and providing the youth with all the useful information to become leaders was outstanding….I would recommend the program to a student because it is an excellent opportunity to learn from professionals, build relationships with new friends, and receive a taste of a college setting….As a recent college graduate, I have yet to pursue my passion of going to graduate school.  The FBR Young Leaders Program has reestablished my passion to acquire additional education in writing/film studies….it has changed the way I look at my career because it has reminded me that your career must be one that is of your interest.  You have to be excited when talking.  Therefore, I am challenged with recreating a vision and developing a “smart” action plan….Among the most important qualities I learned at the FBR Young Leaders Program were empathy, discipline, and resilience. Which are all necessary for leadership.  I also learned a lot from working with the youth and chaperones….The FBR Young Leaders Program has changed the way I will live my life because I will now follow the sphere of balance and make sure that each of the five areas receives
adequate attention.

— Lance D. Davis, Chaperone, Good Samaritan Foundation

What I liked the most about the FBR Young Leaders Program was the fact that we got to meet other kids from different cultures and ethnicity groups.  It was so much fun….The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations because I’ve learned more about being a leader and what leaders do…The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at going to college because now I know how to fill [college applications] out, make sure I have everything needed in an application, and how to complete an effective and thorough essay….The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at what I want to do in my career because I’ve learned how to create a venture based on what I want to do with my career.  I also learned how to plan out everything I need to do prior to the opening of my venture to make sure it effectively achieves its goal…I am going to live my life differently because of the FBR Young Leaders Program because I am going to be more courteous, helpful, and kind towards other people.

— Darnitra House, Booker T. Washington High School

My favorite part of the FBR Young Leaders Program was the skits, I really loved how we were able to interact with one another by using creativity and using the basic theme of the day….The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way that I look at going to college by realizing that the number of outcomes for the future are endless, so I think I have grown over the past few days….Probably the most important thing that I learned through this experience is that even though I’m kind of a quiet person when it comes to new people, I can still become a leader because to be a leader you don’t need all of the leadership qualities, but you at least need to recognize them and try your best to achieve as much of those traits as possible.  Like Tony said, “Even though we fail at something, we still succeeded if you know you tried your best.”  By knowing this, I know I can become a greater person than what I am right now….The way that I know I will definitely change because of the FBR Young Leaders Program is by planning what I want to do on a weekly basis because I will probably notice that life will become more organized and easier than right now, since I have a problem with procrastination.

— Carlos Turcios, Western School of Technology and Environmental Science

The FBR Young Leaders Program was a way for me to realize how important leadership can be in everyday life.  The discussion with the panelists joined together with the sessions that Tony gave us were significantly touching for me.  Not just because I was able to acquire new useful skills, but also because I could implement those skills in my life, and I felt identified and the lessons learned, I’m sure will always be put into action.  The Youth Venture was a great idea!…The FBR Young Leaders Program met my expectations in terms of teaching leadership skills, valuable concepts of life that I can use, inspiration from all kind of different leaders, and desires to be committed to my community, be a leader, and help others to become leaders as well….I would absolutely recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend because it is a great program that will grow and improve each year….The FBR Young Leaders Program enforced my dream to be an educator, a lawyer, and an agent of change… The most important leadership principle that I learned was passion. Passion will be the most meaningful of all for me.  I think passion not only forms a leader, but also irradiates inspiration and desires to triumph.  With passion you can obtain both “success” and “happiness”.

— Carol Cordova, Seneca Valley High School

My favorite part of the FBR Young Leaders Program was the idea of the vision statements and action plans, because it made you think of what you really want your life to be.  Starting with just a simple dream….I would definitely recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend because it helps you learn a lot about yourself and, of course, leadership….it has affected the way I look at going to college because although I have always wanted to go to college, this program made me realize that I have to be more selective in what career I want to pursue….The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at what I want to do with my career because even though I only have a bare idea of what I like, this program has taught me that it is really important to have a plan beforehand (vision statement/action plan).

— Mayra Delgado, Seneca Valley High School

My favorite part of the FBR Young Leaders Program was how we had to learn lessons to work on in groups and to be out of my house and do something productive for a week…The leadership lesson that I am going to apply in my life is how to be patient with a lot of things in life, and don’t give up.  Just keeping on working on my dream….I plan to live my life differently by giving my best in school more and be mature as a leader in my community.  Also in life and in college I want to be more persistent with my work.

— Haven Powell, Bishop O’Connell High School

My favorite part of the FBR Young Leaders Program was all the materials we were given.  I feel that we can go home with the books and implement these ideas once the week is over with and everyone gets back to their lives.  I really liked the Youth Venture Program because it gave me a chance to see my ambitions as an entrepreneur are not far away….The FBR Young Leaders Program surpassed my expectations because I wasn’t expecting the books, the trip to the movies, or the youth venture program…I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program because I think that more teenagers should have access to this program….The FBR Young Leaders Program has affected the way I view my career because the FBR Young Leaders Program has showed me that I have a lot of things to work on before I can be a successful and happy business manager.

— Sean Davis Jr., Dematha High School

What I most liked about the FBR Young Leaders Program is that it was made possible.  I’ve enjoyed my time immensely with the Young Leaders.  Getting to know and connecting with so many of them has been the highlight of the summer for me.  They have caused me to embrace much more with my greatest passion….The program did meet my expectations. It was organized, and there were detailed sessions and active leaders…I would absolutely recommend this program to friends.  It has really been a privilege to be part of the first FBR Young Leaders Program.  The program offers many lessons and strategic ways to be successful as young leaders.

— Tanida Wilds, Chaperone, Boys and Girls Club – FBR Branch

The thing that I liked most about the FBR Young Leaders Program were the times that we got to teach each other about the principles of and qualities of leadership….The FBR Young Leaders Program has met my expectations because this program has forced me to think more differently and like a leader…I would recommend this program to a friend because this is the perfect way to get in touch with other young leaders….it has affected the way I look at going to college by showing me that there is a way to pay for college, and that college is full of choice/fun (classes, roommates)….

— Aaron Phillips, Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts

What I liked most about the FBR Young Leaders Program was how we learned about the different things that make up a leader and the qualities leaders have, and I also liked all the different activities like the tour around campus and being able to go to the movies….The FBR Young Leaders Program beat my expectations, because I didn’t think it was going to be this much fun.

— Donté Taylor, St. Andrews Episcopal School

 The parts of the FBR Young Leaders Program that I enjoyed most were the interactive workshops where the panelists were able to meet the students.  I liked this because while it’s important to learn and listen to what the panelists do for a living, the networking and getting to know them can really help the students….To be honest, I was not sure what to expect from this program. The program though has held true to its name as the week went along. I usually just take a backseat in conversations and discussions at school, and have learned an abundant amount of information on how to be a leader, the qualities a leader should possess, and how to help others be leaders…I would recommend the FBR Young Leaders Program to a friend.  A large majority of my friends (especially those in my school) are in need of great programs like these to guide them in the right path….it has affected the way I look at college.  The program has taught me to really put in serious thought when choosing a college and majors in college.

— Daniel Hernandez, Falls Church High School

 

Young Leaders Program—2005 and 2006

Youth Participant Feedback,
Summer 2005 and 2006

At first I was like, ‘this isn’t anything, they’re not going to understand (me),’ but in the program I had people with the same problems and I felt like I belonged there. I was kind of a follower, wanted to do whatever everyone else wanted to do but now I understand that once you can back away and do what you do best, you can be successful.

— Jose, Wilson High School

The panelists had really good experiences (to share) and they gave me the drive I needed. At first my heart wasn’t set on college but when we talked about how it can better you in life, it made me want to stay focused, go to college and succeed.

— Ariana, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School

The Young LeadersYoung Leaders Program exceeded my expectations. I was pleased when I found out that Tony was our teacher and he taught this class to many older and successful people and he was providing us the same course…I plan to live my life differently because of the leadership lessons I learned in the program. I plan to choose a field in medicine I really love so I won’t be bored or miserable like some of the panelists were before they found the right field of their choice. I plan to live my life with balance so I won’t just be doing good with one area and not the other, for example doing great at work and neglecting my family and/or partner. I also want to be a person who is successful, happy, and a person who betters the society we live in….The most important lessons about leadership I learned in this program is about having passion for what you believe in, respecting your group of people you are leading, and that I as a leader reflect those who I am leading.

— David Oluwo, Junior

I loved the program. The Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at what I want to do in my career. I learned that whatever I do I should always be happy. Because of what I learned in the program I plan to help others, be open minded and stay true to myself and others.

— Donnell, Enterprise High School

I liked how the adults involved us in every way possible, discussion, examples, and group projects. Primarily everything is based on the youth not so much what the adults think and feel…..The Young Leaders Program wasn’t what I expected, I thought it would be boring and nothing but adults telling teenagers about their boring lonely work life and habits, but I was wrong the program allowed the adults and the youth to be open and share experiences and problems without just always taking the spot and speaking for youth like they know how we feel.

— Ashley Mickens, Junior

The Young Leaders Program has changed the way I look at going to college because at first I was not interested in college a lot but now I realized I have a lot of goals that I want to accomplish; college is my first. My life is going to change starting today because I now know what it takes to be a leader. Now I believe that hard work really pays off.

— Walter, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School

The leadership program has been very helpful because it tells us that people in our area actually have a chance to do amazing things in the future.  The teachers are very nice and helpful.  I wish next year that other students could experience the thrill of going to college and learning new things.

— Sahar, Hammond Middle School

One of the first things I learned, which really hit me was it’s not about what you’ve done in life, but your passion. And that’s what colleges look for in essays and application forms….The Young Leaders Program met my expectations because I learned a lot, and I have tried some of the skills taught, and so far they work….The program has affected the way I look at college, because now I have the confidence that I can be a leader, and pursue the career I want to follow. All the panelists were great! And Tony Silard is awesome! I plan to use the leadership skills to help out my parents. And, especially to help others become leaders themselves, by inspiring, and sharing the leadership skills I have learned.

— Claudia Diaz, Sophomore

The Young Leaders Program has affected the way I look at going to college! Things now aren’t about getting into college for a greater education and path to a good job and money. Of course, those things are good. But now it’s also about happiness and what I can do in college to become a greater person and even better future leader. One of the most important lessons I learned about leadership was the use of passion. It’s one of my goals to help those who lack human rights, and this passion could help me express my views. This program has affected the way I look at my career. I want to be a journalist when I grow up. Now I know my writing skills can benefit others by integrating what I have learned here to instill in them the power to be a leader and express what they are capable of….This program has also taught me about how the people around me influence my life and maybe I should make new friends (without abandoning my old ones) who can better my chances to reach the career of my choice.

— Sandra Jacinto, Junior

What I liked most about the Young Leaders Program is that they (the panelists) really cared about us and wanted us to be leaders now and in the future.

— David, HD Woodson High School

I love The Young Leaders Program. The aspects of the program which I liked most were the panelists. Being able to see so many different successful adults with different experiences helped me form my own definition of success and happiness….This program taught me the importance of purpose and how it will make me different. By having a purpose I will prevent myself from wasting time in professions I don’t like….This program also felt like it was an anger management program because I learned how to manage my anger and minimize frustration and stress….Time management: I have learned tricks of the trade on how to effectively manage my time. Since this class I have been procrastinating a lot less. I now plan on using my time more wisely. After attending The Young Leaders Program I can no longer see myself as average. I now resent the word average. I feel as if I can conquer any obstacle through skills which I have learned. Most importantly I realized my potential of being a leader. I now know that I am a leader and this program has made me confident in it.

— Sarah Ghirmay, Junior

I learned some beneficial and effective qualities of an active leader, one with more than just potential. I learned many strategies of time management, and not only has it helped me with my college preparation, work and school, but it has become a lifestyle. I have come up with a Vision Statement and an Action Plan that I should have created a long time ago, because now I feel I have something to move towards. I liked the instructor and his methods. We were coached by a Harvard graduate and thought the course would be monotonous. However, the activity – the hands-on examples and activities made the class’ quality strong. The Young Leaders Program has definitely affected the way I look at going to college. I was one of the seniors in the course, so I am lucky to have taken this class at the time I did. The principles I can live by forever and the panelists’ comments and the strategies they shared enlightened me and made me think ahead. Because of the leadership program, I plan on planning. I gained self-confidence to show off my empathy and passion. Conclusively, the entire program and its lessons were effective and life-long.

— Chanel Neal, Senior

The Young Leaders Program made me realize that just because you go to college does not mean you’re going to make money. Also that you have to be very passionate about your choice of career, it’s not all about the money! I will apply these lessons to my life by never giving up, achieving my goals, standing up for what I believe in, and the most important of all being passionate about the career I choose.

— Deja Cousey, Sophomore

This program has helped me in a lot of things.  To be a good leader is more than what you think.  To be a leader is to set an example.  I think it has been nice of them to have us participate in this group.

— Alusine, Hammond Middle School

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  • Testimonials

    This conference has dramatically broadened and encouraged my plans for my nonprofit enterprise... Thank you. A life-changing experience.

    — Art Shields, Lifesavers World Inc.

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    CSL's nonprofit leadership training helped me fully appreciate my inner voice. It has allowed my philosophy of leadership to bloom!

    — Holly M. Gartmayer-DeYoung, Healthcare Executive on Sabbatical, Addison, ME

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    Tony's use of examples and stories always help clarify/illustrate his points – and keep the discussion interesting. What I find most important, is that Tony includes stories from his personal experiences and feelings. To me, that adds a level of authenticity and vulnerability that I see as a commitment to teaching and generosity that is unique.

    — J. Kevin Jones, Jr., Deputy Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

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    I think Tony’s approach was good because we had the chance to discuss the different characteristics of a leader….He made us realize that we all have characteristics of leaders in us.

    — Patty Santucci, Outreach Worker, Youth Developer, The Latin American Youth Center

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    I see myself continuing as an NGO leader because of my skills that I now have after this conference. Tony’s 15 Principles will help me in leading my organization to achieve its vision, mission and goals…This conference was really helpful and it should be organized again for other NGO Directors.

    — Brian Kayongo, Director, Adolescent Reproductive Health Advocates, Zambia

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    I love Tony’s passion for his topic! I also am very inspired by how he merges many cultural philosophies….I like how he makes leadership a ‘concrete’ idea…I wish the retreat had been longer.

    — Michelle Chun-Tuck, The Fresno Regional Foundation’s Nonprofit Advancement Center

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    The workshop has really helped me to identify my blind spots. After this conference I will have an inclusive decision-making style. I will avoid the ‘I know it all’ attitude.

    — Emmanuel Malubila, Executive Director, Zambia Ex-Prisoners Rehabilitation and Counseling

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    Thank you Tony for helping me find my passion! Forty years of not knowing and to finally have an “ah ha” moment!

    — Pam Smartt, Connections for Life

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    I believe that many of us learned a lot more than we anticipated we would. Tony’s workshops fueled conversations that continued through dinners, evening walks on the beach, and late night groups who gathered around wine and intense conversation....Tony helped us regain our focus and renew our passion and vision!

    — Janna Genovese, Executive Director, Womenspace Unlimited

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    This was a 100% well-prepared, well-carried out, and well-received conference. I felt like the speakers knew exactly what our group's struggles were in maintaining and growing a nonprofit.

    — Sara Ortega, Mira Scholars Foundation, San Francisco, CA

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    The retreat surpassed my expectations! I want more training from Tony, and I’ll even drive for hours to it!

    — Andra Christensen, Board Member, The Discovery Center

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    Tony Silard and the Center for Social Leadership are indeed transforming the way nonprofit leaders lead.

    — Clark Byron, D.Min., Coalition for Independence (CFI)

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    The conference affected my philosophy of leadership. It taught me not to be a dictator, but to have vision and be a listener.

    — Linah Nkhonjela, Executive Director, Girls Brigade of Zambia

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    Tony was the perfect facilitator as he had walked the path I am on…I need more time for myself, I need to find balance and hone skills for my staff. I can learn a lot from Tony’s calmness and integrity.

    — Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Executive Director, YouthBuild

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    I have worked with 5 national organizations and have had the opportunity to participate in several leadership development programs, all valuable, but none of which compared to the quality and depth of ECPNL...The quality of the presenters was second to none...I highly recommend this Program for nonprofit leaders at any stage of their career.

    — Joe Elmore, CAWA Director,
 Strategic Development National Outreach – MS Gulf, Coast
Hurricane Katrina Recovery

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    Tony’s sessions were practical, relevant, thought-provoking and clear. I would have enjoyed more time with him.

    — Shaheen Mistri, Executive Director, Akanksha, Bombay, India

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    Tony has a way of being that is authentic and welcoming. His passion and commitment was evident. The approach was powerfully and passionately delivered…The retreat absolutely exceeded my expectations. PASSION and TRUTH are contagious! Tony is an example of a confident, compassionate, gentle person who has made a difference in this world. He is very special and a treasure.

    — Sharon Gallagher, Board Member, American Red Cross

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