Strategic Alignment Group LLC  
Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by

Youth Leadership Development

Rising Stars, our time-tested Youth Leadership Process, is a high-impact, truly life-changing development process appropriate for ages 13 through 21.

This is not a training program or class. Though we certainly impart new skills and knowledge, our focus is on the inside of young people -- developing attitudes and habits that allow those new skills and knowledge to have permanent, positive consequences on their lives. We facilitate positive behavioral change.

Don't just take our word for it, though. Click here for some heart-wrenching testimonials from youth, parents, and school administrators whose lives have been impacted by Rising Stars. Then, take a look to your right for some multimedia resources on Rising Stars and youth leadership.

Rising Stars evolved from our Leadership Development process, which has been wildly successful in developing CEOs, Managers, and Team Leaders for 30+ years. It has been modified to suit the world of today's youth with exercises, anecdotes, and formatting they can relate to.

We focus on developing the following characteristics:

  • Understanding of Personal Achievement
  • How to Dream and Make Dreams Reality
  • Honest Self-Evaluation
  • Mental Development
  • Social Development
  • Physical Development
  • Career and Financial Development
  • Home and Family Life Development
  • Ethics and Beliefs Development
  • Setting Goals and Establishing Priorities
  • Time Management
  • Accomplishing Goals

Rising Stars prepares students for a future of success and excellence. The process was designed to help today's youth develop the character, confidence, attitudes and values that promote healthy behavior and personal leadership skills.

The Need For Young Leaders
Consider the following research:

In August 2009, in a report entitled "2009 EDA Trends in Executive Development," Pearson and Executive Development Associates found that for 75% of business leaders, identifying up-and-coming leaders to lead their organizations in the future is the highest topic on their minds. When asked what was lacking in the current pool of future leaders, respondents cited strategic thinking, leading change, create a vision, engaging others in the vision, inspiring others, and understanding how the total enterprise works.

In her pioneering book Adolescents at Risk, Joy Dryfoos warned that "Many children are growing up in the United States today without a hope of enjoying the benefits that come with adulthood." Half of all 10 - 17 year-olds are "at moderate-to-high risk of undermining their chances for a healthy life because of substance abuse, unsafe sex, teen pregnancy, school failure, delinquency, crime, or violence."

"For the first time in the history of this country," the American Medical Association said in a recent report, "young people are less healthy and less prepared to take their places in society than their parents. Moreover, this is happening at a time when our society is more complex, more challenging, and more competitive than ever before."

In Workforce 2020: Work & Workers in the 21st Century, Richard W. Judy and Carol D'Amico found that employers consider leadership to be an essential skill that entry-level workers lack. Other skills they identified included a strong work ethic, problem solving, creativity, organizational skills, and interpersonal skills. These were all ranked above writing, math, and reading.

Impact On Future America
Rising Stars recognizes Search Institute's Forty Developmental Assets, experiences, opportunities, and internal capacities essential for health and success in our complex society.*
* Search Institute is an independent, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization located in Minneapolis, MN whose mission is to advance the well being of adolescents and children by generating knowledge and promoting its application.

The Rising Stars Developmental Process
Strategic Alignment Group believes that if our society invests more in developing the positive attributes young people need, our communities will receive a high return as our young people become contributing members of families, communities, workplaces, and society.

Rising Stars focuses on three critical elements that promote the personal leadership, behaviors, and skills employers identify as essential:

  1. Productive Attitudes
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Goal-achievement skills

Attitudes directly determine whether a person succumbs to problems or turns them into opportunities. Goal achievement and Interpersonal Skills enhance their ability to assess the impact of present behavior on future success.

The History of Rising Stars
The Rising Stars process was originally field tested in 1996 in an urban comprehensive high school, a middle school, a non-public special education program, a church youth group, and a community based program for adjudicated youth. Information was gained on how to structure a youth leadership development process and what essential ingredients were necessary to create measurable success. These necessary ingredients include:

  1. Relevancy (determined by needs analysis)
  2. Action Plans (goals based on measurable objectives)
  3. Reinforcement (alumni share experiences related to the action plan to help overcome obstacles), and
  4. Repetition (consistent, positive reinforcement)

The Rising Stars developmental process includes all of these ingredients. In addition, we facilitate the process using innovative learning methods:

  1. Self directed learning (students take responsibility for their own personal improvement)
  2. Constructivism (facilitation shortens the learning curve)
  3. Collaborative/team learning activities (learning is reinforced through interaction, relationships, and group-thinking)

Rising Stars is appropriate for both high-achieving youth and under-achieving youth. It has now been implemented in many hundreds of locations and has positively impacted many thousands of young people across America. It has been delivered in both public and private schools, in communities as an outreach of the city, as part of local business community outreach efforts, in juvenile detention centers, in churches, and in many more venues -- even one-on-one!

Developing personal leadership is a critical component to bringing today's youth into our society and workforce as healthy, productive contributors. Rising Stars' proven process provides a significant return on investment by preventing and reducing risky behavior and instilling positive habits of thinking and acting.

Delivery Format
Depending on needs, Rising stars can be provided according to any of the following schedules:

  • 5-Days - Five four-hour days, such as in a camp or retreat setting.
  • 10-Weeks - Two hours per week in a school, after school, or one-on-one private setting.
  • 12-Weeks - One-and-a-half to two-hours per week in a school, after school, or one-on-one private setting.
  • 16-Weeks - One to one-and-a-half hours per week in a school, after school, or one-on-one private setting.

To learn more, call Strategic Alignment Group at 330.465.0927 or email us here.