Building effective cooperative team skills treats and prevents a wide variety of social issues in schools such as bullying, antisocial behavior, lack of prosocial values, egocentrism, alienation and loneliness, psychological pathology, and low self-esteem (Johnson, Stanne, 2000). Studied outcomes point to improved leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication and conflict management.
While research and studies of applied theories direct our curriculum development, we at Urban Tech believe nothing is as inspiring as seeing it first hand. Through the Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA), our participants learn to encourage each other by talking and listening in order to solve a challenge, become more engaged as they discover new talents and abilities while working in a team, become more willing to take intellectual risks, grow in self-confidence, and develop friends and respect for each other.
In the Team Building Module, participants learn to create an environment for sharing ideas and building trust. They begin to experience how much they can accomplish when each member is accountable, they explore different roles within the team, and they practice focusing on each member’s positive contributions. The participants spend valuable time reflecting on those accomplishments and deciding where they might improve. In the animated comedy short, Maria Moves In, virtual peers address issues related to reaching out, taking positive risks, and working with others in an honest and often provocative way.
YLA’s social skills and leadership building program has been recognized for excellence by: Kellogg Foundation (1997), PBS (1999), The Ford Foundation (2000), Harvard University (2000, Innovation Award), NYC Department of Education-Region 8 (2004), Verizon Foundation (2005), NYC Department of Education (2005, 2011), and the U.S. Department of Justice (2011).