By: Amy Tundel
The Leaders, a club run by the North Attleboro YMCA, consists of teenagers from local middle and high schools. The group opens up opportunities for teens to branch out, learn leadership skills, and give back to the community through volunteering.
There are advisors present each week to help guide and instill core values. Dawn DaCosta, a current Leader’s advisor loves Leaders because it shows, “what the Y is all about and what it stands for.”
The Y has four core values, which they instill and follow: respect, responsibility, honesty, and caring. These values are there to guide and inspire people involved in the Y.
There are many other Leaders clubs nationwide. They come together on several occasions, depending on the region. The Northeast Leaders clubs meet up every season: winter, spring, summer, and fall, for three weekend trips and a week-long trip during the summer.
Five executive board members plan the meetings and facilitate games and activities. By giving the executive board members opportunities to put their leadership skills to good use, it is clear the club not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk.
Executive board member of both 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, Derek Lynch, is a junior at Mansfield High School. He believes people should join Leaders “to make friends and life-long memories, and learn skills that will help [him/her] go further in life.”
There are a few members in the club who attend Attleboro High School (AHS): Sophomore Kianna Dunner, Senior Alexandra Grover, and Senior Amy Tundel.
Dunner said, “Everyone should join because it helps you out of your comfort zone and to start socializing.”
Grover said, “Leaders has given me an opportunity to open up. I have gained many opportunities because of Leaders and have been in the club for about five and a half years. I have enjoyed my time at Leaders mostly because of meeting new people and also having the honor of being on the Executive Board for the 2013-2014 sessions. I overall have had a very positive attitude about Leaders and its impact has changed me for the better.”
A former member, Rachael Holmes, is currently a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island, and graduated from North Attleboro High School in 2013. “Leaders has helped me branch out in college and has made it easier for me to talk to people I don’t know,” said Holmes.
Brooke Milosh, who is a sophomore at North Attleboro High School and a third year returning member at Leaders, started the club as a Junior Leader and has stuck with it ever since. Milosh said, “We learn about one another through eye-opening activities involving trying new things and learning to love yourself as well as accept others.”
Teens interested in meeting new people and making long-lasting memories can come to a Leaders meeting, which takes place every Monday night at 6:45 p.m. The club meets at the Teen Center located at 585 E. Washington St., in North Attleboro. Anyone with questions about signing up can contact the Teen Center at (508)-643-9898, or Dawn DaCosta at Dawnd@hockymca.org.