The Make a Difference (zMAD) Leadership Experience is a three month, hands-on, life-changing summer leadership program . Teens catch a vision of who they can become as they realize their potential. They are empowered to address real issues in their community by interacting with influential leaders and then form teams that go out to help meet community needs.
The first part of the program is an accelerated four week leadership program that follows the Stanford Design Thinking process and the Service Learning Framework. Teens work in a challenging, yet creative environment to push them past their comfort zone and encourage them to come up with innovative solutions to tough community problems. As they work on these problems as a team they practice leadership skills such as Adaptability, Self-Awareness, Communication, Collaboration, Empathy, Analysis/Solution mindset, Resilience, Commitment, and Responsibility.
Through leadership quotes, discussion, introspection, interaction with peers and adults, exposure to others who have made differences in their communities, STEM challenges and leadership activities, the teens grow in confidence and come to realize that they have a voice, value and skills they didn’t recognize before.
The second part is a two month program where the teens work one-one with a mentor to physically implement their leadership skills within their environment and follow through on their personal goals. They also work with their mentor through a program called L.I.F.E. that builds resilience by dealing with their internal and unresolved issues.
Teens will also be given the opportunity to interview for job opportunities, receive training for work preparation certification, community service hours, high school credit and possible Shasta College credit.
Our program embraces the idea that learning should be hands-on and community focused. The sessions consist of fun ice-breakers, STEM experiments, motivational team-building activities, community panels, and research trips. From start to finish, our students are given increasing responsibility and ownership of their projects.
zMAD is the passion project of Zedbridge, an educational nonprofit based in Redding, California. It is a collaboration of local administrators, educators, university professors, community influencers, and non-profits. As an organization, we see a need in Redding for teens to be mentored and given the chance to lead. We believe that every student is bursting with talents and abilities, and we deeply desire to encourage them to confidently embrace their life purpose.
We have a vision that this leadership project will not only create lasting ripples of change in Redding but will expand outside our city walls. We see a generation rising up, being empowered, and using their talents and abilities to ignite change. Not only are we sending out a battalion of leaders and world-changers, but the social projects envisioned, developed, and implemented will add civic value to our Redding community.
Zedbridge is innovating alternative education tools for schools around the world. Zedbridge is helping students reach their full potential through alternative education.