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Former graduates discuss why they enjoyed Teen Lead

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012 1:32 pm

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful Thursday. I'm recovering from last night's Lodi City Council meeting. Check out the transcript from my live chat. Hopefully, you can join me next time, and it can even be more interactive. I'll try to come up with poll questions for the next one.

In Tuesday's paper, I wrote a story on Teen Lead, a program similar to Leadership Lodi that teaches high schoolers about city government, agriculture, healthcare and other businesses in the community.

The program used to be really popular in the 1990s. Anyone participate? What did you learn?

I e-mailed about 10 members of a previous program to ask what they are doing now and how Teen Lead has helped them in their life. Here are a couple of their responses:

1) What was your favorite part of Teen Lead?

2) Do you feel like it helped prepare you for graduation/what you are doing now, and if so, how?

Alex Athanasiou, freshman at University of the Pacific in Stockton majoring in sports medicine and pre-physical therapy

1) My favorite part of Teen Lead was the required ride-along for the Criminal Justice section of the program which was exciting and interesting. Also I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with a physical therapist at the Lodi Memorial Hospital during the Health section because I am interested in the field.

2) I don't feel that Teen Lead necessarily helped prepare me for graduation. However, it helped me get better acquainted with my community and gave me leadership skills that I will always value.

Allison Schatz, a Lodi High senior who will be attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

1) I'm not really sure I can choose one thing as my favorite. I got to meet new, interesting people, both kids my age and adults in the community. I learned about a wide variety of different careers and job fields that I know I wouldn't have had a chance to learn about if I hadn't gone through the Teen Lead program. And I suppose that being able to get out of school early on the days we met wasn't too bad either.

2) It definitely helped me prepare for college. It didn't exactly narrow down my ideas for what I wanted to do when I get older, but it made me realize even more that I have choices, and didn't need to decide what my career will be yet.

Kim Hester, a Lodi High senior who will be attending San Jose State University

1) My favorite part of Teen Lead was doing the ride a long with the Lodi Police Department. I always knew I was interested in criminal justice but it helped me to better understand the types of jobs I could possible go into with that kind of degree. That encouraged me to possibly minor in criminal justice next year at San Jose State University.

2) It helped prepare me for college by giving me a better understanding of many different jobs that are offered locally that I never really had the chance to learn about. Most kids my age don't know our local city's government and it was fun to go and see what they do and how it all really works.

Know of any students who would like to participate in Teen Lead? Download an application on their website.