Strengthening Student Leadership Capacities in High Schools

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Strengthening Student Leadership Capacities in High Schools

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

About You
Project Street Address

Geoffrey Kamau Way

Project City


Project Province/State

Rift Valley

Project Postal/Zip Code


Project Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on:

Kenya, Rift Valley Province, Nakuru Municipality

What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

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What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?


Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

To conduct baseline survey in 15 Primary Schools on student leadership needs, develop a leadership package to address identified needs for improved effectiveness in task delivery, enhanced self awareness and equipping student leaders with basic leadership skills as well as training of trainers for High school teachers for project sustainability.

What makes your idea unique?

Molding of future leaders begins at a young age. In Kenya, leadership responsibilities are entrusted to young pupils early in the lower elementary classes where class monitors and prefects are selected to handle simple tasks such as maintaining order in classrooms in the absence of the teachers. Such young leaders are exposed to various leadership challenges that could provide learning and growth opportunities when carefully tapped into. This idea focuses on helping young leaders in primary schools to draw lessons form their leadership experiences and those of their teachers to nurture the seeds of leadership in them and build their leadership capacities while recognizing their potential to become future leaders. It identifies and addresses a need that the formal education curriculum is not currently addressing. The idea involves nurturing, molding and shaping young leaders so that they embrace positive values, develops their communication and interpersonal skills, decision making and critical thinking skills, coping and self management skills. The idea is unique in the sense that it seeks to address a strategic leadership need that Kenya is in dire need of. It is an idea that will develop future leaders in a typical local context.

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

At risk youth , Behavioral issues , Education , Education reform , Mentorship , Youth development , Youth leadership , Environment & Sustainability , Wellness , Conflict resolution , Youth leadership.

What impact have you had?

Since July 2008, the Center for Transformational Leadership has trained over 200 young leaders through its leadership development program. These young leaders have been drawn from Universities and High Schools. The impact has been positive with over 80% of them developing positive attitude towards leadership and seeing themselves as leaders in their personal capacity and leading in future, increasing their self confidence to provide leadership, embracing positive values to guide their personal decisions, increased self awareness and development of self development plans. We have noted improvement in communication skills, personal initiative, and improvements in conflict resolution skills among prefects; university student’s expressed increased self-awareness, a positive change towards more ambitious career goals, and more faith in one’s ability to succeed in life.

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

Prefects are faced with numerous challenges as they are assigned to handle supervision and orderliness among students. Disrespect, conflicts, threats from students happens on a regular basis. Students have not been given leadership training and suffer from low self-esteem and lack skills in conflict resolution skills and communication-skills.
The project will prepare and develop leadership skills among young potential leaders. Currently, there is no sufficient mechanism in place to sensitize, prepare and equip Kenyan students with required leadership skills they need to handle the challenges that life presents yet they are the same people who rise to leadership positions in different sectors and are entitled to make serious decisions touching on various aspects of life.. Future leaders need to be targeted now, and institutions of learning, the producers of leaders, have an important role to play in molding these leaders. The project will be contributing towards the growth of leadership potential in High school prefects.

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

The Center for Transformational Leadership (CTL) has been running leadership development programs with University and High School students in the recent past. Before conducting trainings, CTL seeks to understand leadership needs of student leaders by administering pre-workshop questionnaires and holding focused group discussions with the guidance and counseling-teachers and student leaders. Based on the leadership gaps identified, a targeted training package is developed to address those needs. CTL develops and administers feedback tools to understand and assess the impact of the leadership training content on the students. CTL is currently able to only focus on one school at a time due to limited resources. With additional funding a concrete training package can be developed to address student leadership skill deficiencies in more schools as well as advocate for mainstreaming of leadership skills within school’s co-curricular activities. CTL is partnering with the Center for Creative Leadership in designing and developing High School Students Leadership Toolkit based on the local context.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

Conduct a more elaborate and in depth baseline survey on existing student leadership needs in Primary Schools involving school administration, teachers and student leaders at all levels. Awareness creation on the need for leadership development in Primary Schools.

Success in Year 2:

Development of a proactive High School Student Leadership toolkit to address the needs in the Kenyan context and testing of the same among High Schools in Kenya

Success in Year 3:

Training of trainers on the use of the toolkit and wide distribution of the same to Primary Schools across the country

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)

We are in the process of developing a strategic plan for CTL.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:

Funding to enable CTL conduct an in depth baseline survey on a wider scale and develop a proactive Primary School Students Leadership toolkit to address the identified needs and test the effectiveness of the toolkit in Kenyan Primary Schools

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

Support for Youth Leadership development by national education agencies, school administrations and partner organizations

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

Establishment of Youth Leadership program within Primary Schools; Publication of final Primary School Students Leadership toolkit, training of trainers and dissemination of the toolkit to Primary Schools across the country

Describe the expected results of these actions.

• A fully fledged Primary School Leadership toolkit with replicability potential. Increase awareness on the need for youth leadership development in Primary Schools;
• Trainers equipped with the knowledge and skills on delivery of the toolkit to primary school leaders;
• Wide acceptance of the toolkit by national education agencies, primary school administrations and partner organizations;
• Improved leadership and learning capacities among primary school leaders.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

The need for effective and efficient leaders in Kenya and the realization that leaders must be nurtured, shaped and molded at an early age in life. Young leaders represent hope for better leadership in future; there is need therefore to help them choose positive values to guide their decisions and align their actions to this values, develop a learning attitude and critical thinking skills to be able to live productive lives and provide effective leadership in future. Kenya is currently faced by a serious leadership crisis and is struggling to fight vices such as corruption that hinder development in all sectors. Though the current and past leadership attitudes and behaviors leave a negative picture about leadership in the minds of young upcoming leaders, it is possible to develop positive leadership skills in the younger generation and prepare them to be the change they desire to see in this country, help them to embrace learning and equip them with the skills they require to lead the public sector, organizations and companies in future.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

The social innovators of this idea are directors with CTL who felt the need to impart positive change in the lives of young upcoming leaders and prepare them for the challenge of leadership, encourage them to tap into their unique talents and abilities for maximum exploitation of their potential and for the benefit of humanity. The social innovators of this idea share a passion for people development and are driven by the passion to add value in people, help them to know and understand themselves more in order to serve others better. The realization that student leaders in high schools need much more than the knowledge offered by the formal curriculum prompted the directors to step in and help these leaders acquire skills that will help them learn from their leadership experiences and those of others, think critically as leaders, develop self confidence, improve their communication skills and develop meaningful relationships with those that they lead as well as those at higher levels.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through the Center for Creative Leadership

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The project would fail to succeed if High School administrations and national education agencies reject the toolkit. It would also fail to succeed if there is civil unrest in Kenya or other natural calamities such as drought and floods.

Financing source


If yes, provide organization name.

Yes, this initiative is connected to the Center for Creative Leadership, a not-for-profit organization that provides support in development and design of Leadership Programs to CTL.

How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)

Less than a year

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes, CTL has a Board of Directors

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)


The Story
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Partnerships with NGOs, businesses and government are important to the success of this innovation because they provide unique networks with High School administrations. The government will need to authorize the project and certify that the content of the toolkit is indeed beneficial for development of young leaders in Kenya. The partnerships are also important for funding the project, providing support in terms of knowledge, advice and guidance in the process of developing the toolkit and promote the use of the toolkit in enhancing leadership learning among young leaders. These partnerships will also be useful in the testing, aid in the acceptance of the toolkit by High Schools and dissemination of the same across the country.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

3 staff and 2 volunteers

What is your organization's business classification?

Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)

None of the above.