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STLCC-Florissant Valley & The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis host Generation Forward Experience®

October 10, 2008

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis will host Generation Forward Experience (GFE), an interactive, three-day youth leadership retreat. GFE is being offered to students participating in the National Urban League Incentives to Excel & Succeed (NULITES) youth initiative.

The retreat begins with a one-day program on Oct. 18 at the Florissant Valley Campus. On Nov. 22 and 23 the program concludes with a two-day overnight program at Camp ChanYaTa in Worden, IL, approximately 1 hour from St. Louis. During these action packed days, participants will have the opportunity to hike trails, enjoy nature and engage in hands-on, inspiring and transformational leadership activities. The retreat consists of several team building and problem solving activities, including Sense full Leadership, designed to bring out the leader in each participant.

GFE began in 2006 as a Continuing Education and Community Engagement program designed for middle and high school aged youth. GFE is a progressive, action-learning leadership program. The program centers on students building self-awareness, understanding human relations and cultural relations, and building effective communication skills as a process toward developing into positive, constructive and effective leaders prepared for the transition to college, for success in their schools and for leadership roles in their community.

"Students who participate in Generation Forward Experience are provided with leadership skills that will help guide them throughout their lives," said Ken Trzaska, dean of Continuing Education and Community Engagement. "These students have really connected with the Generation Forward vision and in turn have generated demand for the program, which provides us more opportunity to work with organizations."

Due to student enthusiasm, a recent summer program for youth age 10 to 12 was created. The GFE Leadership Academy took place over one week in June 2008 and this fall a series of Generation Forward Experience Academy programs are offered through a weekend leadership program. Both follow the same general curriculum as the original program, adjusted for age. There also has been interest on the national level by other organizations who would like to offer GFE in their communities.

GFE classes are currently offered at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley and through St. Louis area high schools and community organizations. To enroll in the GFE program, or if you would like to offer GFE at your school or organization, please contact Trzaska at 314-513-4220 or by e-mail at ktrzaska@stlcc.edu or Raymond Donnelly, program coordinator at 314-513-4558.