Our mission since we were first incorporated in 2013 has been to transform the City of Pontiac by the power of the youth. Since September of 2013, we’ve hosted leadership development and group bonding programs on Friday nights, community service events on Saturdays, and a week-long retreat in August called the Golden Week that is geared towards community service and group bonding. At our Friday meetings, our college student staff train the high school students in the basics of leadership and project management. Then, the high school students are divided into teams and told one thing: identify a problem in your community and use your natural talent and training to solve it. With our project management outline and with guidance from the college staff, the high school students then create their own community-transformation projects. They’ve thought up, planned, and run clothing drives, marketing events at local businesses, park clean ups, partnerships with local churches to build parks and replant gardens in abandoned lots, and our Golden Week, a week-long inner-city retreat focused on community service and leadership development. And that’s not all. At the core of the Leaders of the Future mission is family. An hour and a half of each of our meetings is dedicated to peer mentoring and group bonding. Half of our Superhero Saturdays are dedicated to fun activities and group hangouts. In addition to the community service events, we’ve planned video game tournaments, lazer-tag outings, mini-golf tournaments, and hiking trips. In effect, it’s a team of young urban leaders dedicated to leadership and community development. It’s a nonprofit organization founded and moved forward by high schools students. It’s an army of passionate volunteers who are ready to cleanse their city of blight and degradation. It’s the Leaders of the Future organization, a family of game-changers with an unbreakable love for each other and for their community.
Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (June 2016)