Park City Leadership Academy created for at-risk sixth-grade students

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Rob Harter, executive director of the Christian Center of Park City, knows that one of the most critical transitions in a student’s life is the transition from elementary school to middle school.

“We heard of stories of students who were doing great in school in elementary but quickly began to lose interest in school throughout middle school and for some later dropped out altogether by high school,” said Harter. “When we coupled that with the reality that there are no current leadership programs for at-risk students in sixth grade at Ecker Hill, we were motivated to start a leadership program specifically for them.”

Thus, the Park City Leadership Academy (PCLA) was created. It provides an environment where students can both learn and apply leadership skills from hearing and interacting with local, regional, and state leaders.

“We hope our end result is that these sixth graders will believe that they too can become leaders,” he said.

“This is a pretty amazing program,” said Ecker Hill Middle Principal Traci Evans. “It’s a pre-leadership program for our sixth-grade students.”

A ninth-month curriculum was developed and the PCLA consists of once a month meeting from 3:50 to 4:50 p.m. at Ecker Hill Middle School.

The curriculum for the remainder of  year includes:

-Nov 15: Panel Discussion including local Latino business leaders such as Gabriel at Chase Bank, and Jorge Fierro from Rico Brand

-Dec. 13: Service opportunity through Operation Hope Toystore in Park City

-Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day with guest speaker

-Feb. 15: Multicultural Youth Leadership Day at the Capitol (all day event)

-March 14: Guest speakers within hospitality industry

-April 18: Panel discussion from nonprofit leaders who love what they do and give back to the community

-May 16: Joint meeting at Camp Kostopolous with Latinos in Action, Bright Futures, Teen Council, and Young Life

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