Empowering Future Leaders Curriculum
1girl is constantly working to improve our program in whatever way we can. We are always improving and refining our curriculum through talking to the women and girls we serve, community focus groups, and research.
Right now, we try to have a variety of different components in each activity we do:
- Discussion. This helps the girls understand how the ideas they are learning can relate to their daily lives and allows them to think critically and creatively. They are not only voicing their own thoughts, but also listening to others—an indispensable leadership skill.
- Physical/tangible. In this component, the girls are moving around in some way, which helps to keep them energized, focused, and engaged.
- Creating. We always want the girls to be making or creating something, whether it is a piece of writing, art, or a shared group creation. This helps create a sense of independence, autonomy, and confidence in their own abilities.
- Speaking. During this time, each girl stands and speaks about what she is doing or what she thinks. Speaking helps the girls get comfortable with sharing their thoughts and ideas, a vital skill for leadership success.
Each of these components helps to appeal to all different learning styles and reinforces the concepts we are teaching.
Our current curriculum focuses around five main skills. Each activity is centered around one of these skills:
- Public speaking
- Critical thinking
- Creative problem solving
- Goal setting
- Conflict Resolution
We have found these skills to be most needed and most useful in the girls we work with. However, we are considering focusing on some other skills that also contribute to building leadership skills:
- Strategic influence, persuasion, negotiation. Using the right techniques to negotiate or influence an audience or another party is the key to finding solutions.
- Relationship building. Learning how to build healthy, lasting relationships from a young age will set them up for success for future relationships with friends and family, teachers, employers, etc.
- Collaboration/teamwork. While we encourage independence, we also encourage working together collectively to achieve a goal.
- Communication. Confidently communicating what they know is essential in any school, home, or professional setting.
- Innovation/imagination. This aspect is the key to using knowledge in a higher capacity in order to find newer, better answers or results.
- Passion. Finding something that inspires them to work harder can be the driving force for their future.
- Entrepreneurial. By sparking their interest early and encouraging success, their confidence will skyrocket.
- Diversity/cultural exposure. The more culture they learn about from around the world, the more they will see how other people live. By doing so, they will learn how to understand and connect with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds.
Please comment below to let us know other ways we can improve. What other skills do you think we should be helping our girls develop? Do you know a community member with child development or leadership development expertise? If so, we would love to connect with that person or organization to help improve our curriculum!