Each year Lincoln Academy sends at least one student to the Maine Youth Leadership (MYL) Program at the University of Maine campus in Gorham. Students from all over Maine attend a four-day seminar in May, where they learn the practical skills of leadership including planning, decision-making, reasoning, and facilitating. Ambassadors are sophomores who have demonstrated leadership potential, and they are selected by their high schools.
Earlier this year, Lincoln Academy staff members who serve as sophomore advisors were asked to identify students who would make good candidates to represent Lincoln Academy at the 2015 MYL Conference. Advisors were asked to consider students who have a record of leadership and civic-mindedness, who participate in community service, are good communicators, and demonstrate self-confidence and a positive attitude.
After the advisor nominations, Essie Martin was selected as the ambassador and Evan Eckel as the alternate for the MYL Program. “Most years the program has encouraged Lincoln to send both the ambassador and the alternate,” said Guidance Counselor Cynde Ferrill. Both students will attend the conference this year.
Last year’s ambassador was Elise Dumont, a junior at Lincoln Academy who found that the conference was valuable in achieving her leadership goals. “MYL connected me with other teen leaders who helped me develop my leadership skills and reminded me to help and appreciate everyone around me.” Elise’s peers clearly recognized her leadership skills when they recently elected her as Lincoln Academy’s student body president.
Guidance Counselor Cynde Ferrill is leads the ambassador selection process at Lincoln Academy. She is excited for this year’s participants. “MYL is a great opportunity for our students to connect meaningfully with students from all over Maine, and to work together in developing their natural leadership qualities. Over the years, our Ambassadors have said that the MYL seminar is one of the best experiences they’ve ever had”
“I am very much looking forward to working with and learning from the leaders and other students attending the program,” said Evan Eckel, one of this year’s participants. “It’s going to be a great experience, where I’m going to meet and work with other kids from all over the state. It will be a unique opportunity to be on a college campus for four days and I look forward to that too.”
His fellow participant, Lincoln Academy sophomore Essie Martin, is also excited about the program. “I’m hoping to learn leadership tools that I can bring back to Lincoln. I know these skills will apply directly to activities that I am already doing, like student council and the Climate Action Club, and there is a lot I can learn!”
The two sophomores will be be at the USM Gorham campus from May 29 to June 1, 2015.