United Teens In Action
Wilkes County Schools Administration approached the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce several years ago about financially supporting a new student program encouraging high school youth to increase their leadership experiences.
The United Teens in student program encouraging high school youth to increase their leadership experiences. The Chamber Executive Committee and Board of Directors decided to cover the cost of facilitating the program in 2008 and have continued to fund this youth leadership program annually.
United Teens in Action (UTA) is a youth-focused civic engagement program designed for high school youth to increase their leadership experiences and help them become more involved with dynamic change occurring throughout the county. Students participating in UTA are chosen from each of the five high schools, Wilkes Early College, East Wilkes, North Wilkes, West Wilkes and Wilkes Central, with a specific emphasis on high school juniors. Participants in UTA are involved in a very dynamic and different program, one where they can learn and have experiences that they can take back to their schools, neighborhoods and communities.
UTA begins in September of each school year for half-day sessions and continues monthly through May. Students involved in this leadership development program come together as a group, putting aside any type of high school rivalry as they begin building relationships. Students participating in UTA have the opportunity to learn about their community and discuss needs and changes as they see them for their county. While engaged these students are developing interactive and personal leadership skills. As a part of the leadership program, UTA students are challenged to participate in community service projects. The projects are selected, planned, facilitated and completed by UTA students. Through the service projects many students experience for the first time an opportunity to give of their time and energy to help others in their community. The UTA program and the service projects help these high school students acquire such skills as responsibility, discipline, organization, planning and community involvement. As each of these build character in the students, they are also reflective of their high school involvement and represent excellent programs for inclusion on college applications.
The Wilkes Chamber embraces the opportunity for these high school students as they give their time and talent to improve their leadership abilities and improve their community