Leadership Diploma for School Children

Leadership Diploma for School Children

Developing the Leaders of tomorrow

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Last Update: May 19, 2014

Greece is in crisis. However, there are charismatic Greek children who have the potential to be agents of change and leaders in business, politics, and society. We have developed a Leadership Diploma for schoolchildren that seeks to imbue future leaders with an awareness of social justice.

Founded: 2013 Type: hybrid

The Problem

Greece is experiencing a significant economic and social crisis. The future is bleak, and the majority of young people believe they should leave Greece. This brain drain perpetuates a self-fulfilling prophesy, whereby the talented and brightest want to leave Greece. Finally, there is a widespread belief that corrupt systems can't be easily changed.

The Solution

The biggest problem in developing leaders is imbuing people with the appropriate ethical outlook. We have developed a Leadership Diploma for Children to; (1) give young Greek people the opportunity to experience themselves as having agency to change things, (2) demonstrate to them the benefit of leadership that contributes to social justice, (3) our leadership school also includes individuals from marginalized parts of Greek society, so children have the opportunity to work with diverse members of the community. The program involves experiential and active learning methodologies that engineer scenarios where school children are provided with an opportunity to take a leadership role.

Example

We have recently completed the first year of our program. I will provide two examples of projects the children were involved with. The students facilitated communication with business leaders and non-profit organizations, with the aim of coordinating an event to question whether social responsibility policies help or hurt charities. Secondly, the students created three new political parties and presented them to the local media as an alternative to mainstream political parties in Greece. Their new parties were so interesting that they were interviewed by a national TV station in Greece (SKAI TV).

Impact

We have finished our first year. We have witnessed the impact that this program has had on the 18 school children that attended the course, their parents and the schools they attend (which were partners in the project). The impact of our program can only evaluated in the long term, but the immediate impact has been that students have experienced themselves in a leadership role. Thus, we only have the qualitative feedback of the children and their families/teachers to indicate this impact. The course has received good media coverage, so the message that positive things are happening in Greece for children is being circulated. The fact that our program includes school children from diverse backgrounds (i.e., public schools, private schools and marginalised communities) has generated considerable interest from the educational community in Greece.

Full Impact Potential

Our strategy for scaling-up the leadership diploma covers the period November 2013-November 2018. Short-term: We have finished piloting the program with two cohorts; a junior class with 9 children (ages 13-14) and senior class 9 children (ages 15-16). The program started in November 2013 and ended in July 2014. Mid-term: We intend to have 60 children in the period Nov 2014-Nov 2016. Long-term: In terms of scalability, we intend to role the program out in the North/North Eastern Greece. We will train program leaders (2014-2016 period) and establish courses in 4 new Greek cities.

Budget: $100,000 - $250,000

Financial Sources

Friends and family, Businesses

Sustainability Plan

The project is presently run on a voluntary basis. We need funding to employ 2 full-time admin staff. Our financial sustainability can be insured by having 50% students fee-paying and 50% sponsored by industry. We are actively approaching organizations to fund a scholarship via their social corporate responsibility programs.

Marketplace

In Greece, there is a huge market in after-school activities for children that address both educational needs and hobbies. However, our program is the first one in Greece that uses university professors/business leaders/social leaders to develop children in leadership.

Founding Story

Anthony Montgomery, the founder, is an associate professor in Organizational Psychology. He has been involved in adult leadership development since 1999, but always believed that developing leadership in school children was the way to go. In 2013, he organised an international conference in Greece and invited schoolchildren to make a presentation in how they would reimagine their schools (if put in charge!). That experience gave him the "Aha" moment when he taught, we should develop a leadership training program for schoolchildren.

Team Explanation

Dr. Efharis Panagopoulou is a clinical health psychologist. She is the head of the progam, and focuses on emotional leadership and communication. She is part-time and her contribution is voluntary. Ms. Karolina Doulougeri is the administrator, she is part-time. Ms. Katerina Georganta and Ms. Despina Karagianni are part-time volunteers that contribute to coordination of the program. All members of our team are registered psychologists.

Team Members

Connections:

Challenges

Growth Tracker

Stage: Milestone 1 of 2
Start
05/08/14
End
Milestone
Enlarge our cohort
Target Completion Date 10/15/14
In Progress
Move from 18 students to 60
Milestone
Increase representation of students from marginalized communities
Target Completion Date 10/15/14
In Progress
Register 8 students for from marginalized communities in 2014-2015 program
Milestone 1
Enlarge our cohort
Our Impact Reports:
Anthony Montgomery hasn't posted any impact reports yet.

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