Leadership Broward concluded the inaugural Follow the Leader in You (FLY) Program for eighth-graders attending Title 1 Broward County Public Schools with a special focus on students from the Prosperity Broward designated zip codes 33309, 33311, 33313, 33319, 33023 and 33069.
“The FLY program would never have happened if it wasn’t for COVID,” said Matt Korshoff, immediate past chair of the Leadership Broward board and senior vice president of CenterState Bank. “Leadership Broward, the board and our sponsors really came through as we took a step back, looking for ways to have greater impact in the community. This is an experience that these students will take with them and talk about for the rest of their lives. We are currently recruiting sponsors for future FLY programs.”
The FLY program was created to reach potential youth leaders to encourage and inspire them to find and follow the leader in themselves. Two critical components of the program included reorienting participants’ self-perception so that they can recognize the leadership qualities they possess and leading participants to recognize and reinforce the leadership qualities they see in each other.
“The goal of the FLY Program is to help develop meaningful qualities and provide these motivated students with important skills that will help them reach their full potential as they continue to grow personally, academically and professionally,” said Ashley Boxer, vice president of external affairs at Broward Health. “Broward Health is proud to partner with Leadership Broward in helping to cultivate the future leaders of our community.”
Over the course of three program days, nearly 100 eighth-grade students participated in the Leadership Broward’s FLY Program. The first program day took place in a classroom setting with facilitators who worked with students to define leadership, develop emotional intelligence, self-awareness, time management and goal setting. The skills that the students learned during this day was to empower them and prepare them for their high school years.
The second program day involved team-building activities, including the Broward College Tigertail Lake Recreation Center ropes course, which offered students extraordinary learning opportunities about risk-taking, performing under pressure, collaboration, and support dynamics among team members.
One collaboration, titled Marble Madness, had the students placed in groups to create a device that would transport a marble as slowly as possible. “They had to work with limited resources and learn to work together to create the device,” said Chair of the FLY Committee Dr. Meka Mears, chief administrative officer of P&M Healthcare. “It was a terrific lesson in how roles are defined as we come together as a group to create something or solve a problem. Here they learned about themselves as leaders, whether they emerged as the constructor or the problem solver or strong communicator. It was fantastic watching these kids interact, work together and trust each other to accomplish the goals of the exercises.”
The program concluded with leadership training that reinforced what was learned on the first two program days, a High School & College Readiness Training by Broward College, a wrap up debrief and leadership intention walk.
“Shutts & Bowen and I are proud to sponsor the next generation of Broward County students and future leaders,” said Jamie Wasserman, a partner in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. “As a graduate of the Leadership Broward program, I know firsthand the impact that programs like this can have on adults. My hope is that together we can mold these students into the leaders we all know they can be.”
The founding sponsors of the FLY Program include Truist Foundation, Broward Health, Shutts & Bowen and Broward College.
For more information about Leadership Broward, visit leadershipbroward.org/.