October 10, 2023 - Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium Youth Career Advisors took 10 JMG students to participate in Leadership Day at Camp Daggett in Petoskey for a day of growth, self-discover, and empowerment.
Leadership Days is JMG’s annual event focused on leadership and team building. It’s a full day of staff-led activities that allow participants to get to know their fellow JMG youth from around the state and gain confidence in themselves. Throughout the event, students participated in rock climbing, rope climbing, and more.
This year, Richard Szwaja, an accomplished Organization Development and Learning Specialist from the Bronson Center for Learning, joined the event, offering a transformative approach, reframing the focus on self-awareness and self-management.
Self-awareness and self-management are essential for effective leadership. They help us recognize the thoughts and feelings driving our behaviors. Whether it's unmet expectations, values being ignored, past hurts, fear of the unknown, or the dread of failure, these emotions can manifest in various behaviors. Self-awareness helps us understand our actions' reasons, while self-management enables us to choose more effective leadership responses over reactions.
Richard shared his vision, saying, "I aim to connect leadership with social-emotional skills and provide opportunities for our youth to see how self-awareness and self-management directly enhance their leadership presence."
Richard set the tone for each day with an engaging opener, and guided questions during the camp activities throughout the day to encourage attendees to link self-awareness and self-management with their daily experiences. Concluding the day was an insightful debrief session which provided a chance for reflection and growth.
The students thoroughly enjoyed the day, one stating “this was the best day ever” and another noting “working together to find solutions was a lot of fun”.