Executive Perspective: New Year, New Opportunities

A student climbs a climbing wall during a field trip.
By Dr. Kimberly Leverette

Starting in 2022, we have a lot to look forward to with our ever-growing and expanding programs. Going into this new year, one of our biggest objectives at Flint & Genesee Education & Talent is to continue to provide high-quality programming.

Starting with YouthQuest, we are looking forward to ensuring an innovative program that reaches as many students as possible. Our program is one where kids are exposed to different activities and opportunities that they may not be otherwise. These include field trips both locally and statewide; YQ Biz, YouthQuest’s entrepreneurial program; and connections to leadership opportunities both inside and outside the program. These activities act as a good segue to other programs we offer such as TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative.

For TeenQuest, we are looking forward to starting the new year with new facilitators and a revamped curriculum that allows us to reach students we may not have been able to in the past. By offering both in-person and virtual programs, we can meet each student where they are and allow them to participate in the program around their schedule. Our new curriculum focuses more strongly on leadership and student collaboration giving students ownership of the program and a voice.

For Summer Youth Initiative, we are looking forward to growing our student employment base this year. Not only will those students gain real, on-the-job skills, they will also have the opportunity to participate in service-learning projects that help connect them with the community and instill in them the power of giving back.

For our Flint Promise scholars, we are looking forward to ensuring student success this year. This will be achieved by our Success Coaches working closely with students to help encourage them through their academic career and provide resources they may need.

Lastly, we want to ensure that we are focusing on encouraging good emotional and mental health throughout all our programs. We hope to achieve this by continuing to train our staff to recognize emotional distress and triggers so that they can emotionally support the students that they touch.

We are looking forward to a great year for Flint & Genesee Education & Talent and with that, I would like to leave you with a quote from Maya Angelou:

“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”