Civic engagement was a priority issue of concern at the eleven Community Forums held in 2015 across North Dakota. Data collected at the forums suggested that North Dakotans are identifying a lack of community leadership, a lack of morals and ethics in their leaders, declining volunteerism and community engagement, as well as a decline in youth engagement.
As a result, the “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today” (BTLT) program was developed by Extension Agent Macine Lukach and Langdon Area High School senior, Dawson Schefter, to address civic engagement and to help teens learn the valuable skills needed to become effective leaders. The program design was 3 levels for a total of 16 hours.
Twenty-four students from 4 area schools participated gained skills in public speaking, effective communication, effective meeting management, personal branding and legislative strategy. Program participants learned from area leaders attending a board meeting and a local leaders’ panel. Students taught parliamentary procedure to Grades 4-6 students. Students were involved in a hands-on legislative learning session facilitated by District 10 Rep. David Monson and Chuck Damschen, and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler.
Post survey results from 17 participants
--94% felt they can use the ideas or skills they learned.
--100% felt they are now prepared to serve in a leadership role.
--88% felt they better understand and feel more confident dealing with various personalities.
--88% felt confident they can run a meeting using parliamentary procedure.
--82% felt they can make a motion in a meeting.
In a 3-month follow-up survey from 12 students:
--92% reported taking on a leadership role in an organization they belong to and plan to seek election in the next round.
--It was fun learning parliamentary procedure through the hands-on activities we did.
--I feel like I now know how to run meetings, how things work in the Senate & House, how to deal with conflict.
--I feel I can be an effective leader and speak in front of people with the confidence I have gained.
--Leading is not as hard as it sounds.
--The best part was all I learned and how I can use it in real life.
--I feel my daughter is more willing to volunteer to lead after completing the BTLT’s program.
--My son understands the steps of leadership and how to be a leader. Program was very beneficial.
Public Value Statement
NDSU Extension leadership and civic education programs build public value by strengthening the skills, confidence and willingness of individuals to lead, engage others in public decisions and increase team performance. Stronger leaders and teams mean reaching goals and objectives more efficiently and effectively in schools, communities and the workplace.
Macine Lukach, Extension Agent
Dawson Schefter, LAHS Senior
Stanley Dick, Cavalier County Commissioner
Todd Borchardt, Choice Financial, Langdon
Cavalier County Job Development Authority
Kayla Lee, Langdon Area High School
Chalmer Dettler, Farmers & Merchants State Bank