What Is The Future Leaders Program?
OLI Future Leaders started in 2012 and looks to create ‘Future Leaders’. Through the Future Leaders program, youth will explore their goals and dreams, and understand the necessary steps needed to realize those dreams!
The Future Leaders program is a mentorship program. At the beginning of the program, youth who are accepted into the Future Leaders program are paired with a mentor who supports the youth in becoming a leader. Mentors work with youth in creating goals, determining the steps necessary to realize their goals, and helping youth to follow through on the steps to achieve their goals. Together, the mentor and youth develop a supportive and motivational relationship.
2. Leadership Week
Youth who are successful in the program participate in the “OLI Future Leaders” leadership week. This week-long experience is focused on instilling leadership and life skills within youth and providing experiences that will allow youth to see beyond their borders. The youth will also participate in daily rehearsals, where they will learn the “Future Leaders Dance” for the annual performance in May.
Examples of other activities youth may participate in during the leadership camp:
- Tours of post-secondary institutions
- Resume writing skills
- Career search workshops
- Visits to local Indigenous centres/services
- Cultural and Tourist Experiences, like visiting museums
3. Mentor Day
The highlight of the program is ‘Mentor Day’ in which youth meet their mentors for a jam-packed day full of activities that focus on getting to know each other and discovering the youth’s goals and future dreams. There are also opportunities for leadership skill development, problem-solving skills and self-expression.
4. Future Leaders Performance
Those in the Future Leaders program perform in a special dance that is showcased at OLI’s Annual Performance. This involves a rigorous rehearsal schedule at the May Camp and during the Leadership Week. It is imperative that all youth who attend the Leadership Week also attend the Toronto trip.
5. OLI Wellness Challenge
To assist youth with achieving their goals, OLI has created the Wellness Challenge that takes place during the month of April. With the guidance of their mentor, youth determine 3 goals that they want to focus on for the month of April – focused on Mental Health, Physical Fitness and Skill Development. Mentors support youth in determining actions to take over the month and hep youth to achieve these goals. Challenges may include spending time with a community elder, eating healthy, speaking in a traditional language with family members, or exercising regularly. Challenges may be different for each youth, and OLI encourages youth to determine goals based on their personal interests.
6. Work Experience
New in 2018, OLI is launching the ‘Work Experience’ aspect of the Future Leaders Program. Each youth that is involved in the Future Leaders program will be engaged in a community service volunteer experience. This will serve to allow the youth to plan and implement their ideas and help those that are in their community.