Senior Alum Urges Freshmen to Apply for Teen Leadership Program

Mattea Vecera, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The Greater Green Bay Teen Leadership (Adventure) program is one of the most rewarding and unique opportunities offered to Notre Dame Academy sophomores. An alumnus of the program myself, I’m writing this to share my experience and urge current freshmen to apply.

According to the website, “Greater Green Bay Teen Leadership Adventure program is to build and strengthen emerging young leaders with skills, knowledge and experiences that prepare them to be effective partners for positive change in the Greater Green Bay area.”

Only a handful of sophomores are selected from each high school in the area, including NDA, East and West De Pere, Bay Port, Ashwaubenon, Preble, East Green Bay, Wrightstown, Pulaski, Denmark and Kewaunee. 

Through monthly leadership training sessions, these students “learn about local community initiatives, engage in thought-provoking discussions, and study leadership practice curriculum.” These sessions occur on a weekday and usually go from around 7:30 a.m until 3:00 p.m.

Each session is held at a different location in the Greater Green Bay area and discusses a different topic that leads to leadership discourse. Some examples of these themes and locations include a poverty simulation and tour of the NEW Shelter, activities and a tour of the Green Bay Police Department, and learning how to enable others to act at the UW-GB campus. 

The sessions also had speakers to inspire the students and teach them more about each theme. Some examples of the speakers I heard were Mike Kline (UW-GB, head cross country coach), Mayor Jim Schmitt, and Chief Smith (Green Bay Police Department). 

Perhaps the best part of the program are the small group community projects. The website explains, “With guidance from an experienced, adult mentor, the project small groups will conquer challenges and address community issues that meet the interest areas of the students.” During one of the first few session dates, the students will be shown previous projects and brainstorm ones of their own. 

For my project, I led a group of five girls in a human trafficking awareness initiative. Our original goal was to bring awareness to this problem at the high school level, planning assemblies, activities, and a video to share in the Greater Green Bay area schools. However, this plan was put on hold after many high schools refused to be a part of discussing this important topic.

We then got in touch with a human trafficking awareness organization called Eye Heart World. After a lot of correspondence with them, the girls and I were given an opportunity to work alongside them in their high school awareness initiative… until they decided to put it on hold and back out last minute. My group ended up having no final project and nothing to share at graduation, which was a huge bummer. I believe we were the only students they’ve ever had that didn’t complete a project.

Either way, I learned so much from all of the trials and failures that came along the way. This program was very rewarding, and I recommend it to any freshman who wants to grow as a leader in and outside of the community. 

Applications are due on March 20. While that seems far away, I would suggest clicking on the link below to read the application requirements and learn more about the program. If you have any questions about my experience, feel free to comment below. If you have any questions about the program, you can talk to Ms. Becky Bain in student services.