UthMpact Leadership is a unique program, spearheaded by InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk, UthMpact, business and community partners, to help teens develop crucial leadership skills. Members of UthMpact Leadership Class X have been able to take part in October & November Leadership Days, incorporating safe social distance protocols of course!
October’s UthMpact Leadership Day, themed “Volunteerism”, was a busy one! The teens visited with Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine to learn about the Annual Swan Derby, a community event featuring swan boat races, food, and live music to bring awareness to LVIM and its mission. Next, the leaders heard a very informative presentation at The Salvation Army in Lakeland and helped pack 150 kidsPACK boxes to feed homeless and under-served students when school is not in session. The busy youth donated items to the Dream Center of Lakeland’s COMMUNITY SHOPPE. The day’s agenda continued with stops at Parker Street Ministries to learn about its programs for growth in education, workforce readiness, desirable neighborhood, financial capacity and health/wellness, and VISTE, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, where the students had fun decorating Thanksgiving bags for distribution.
November’s UthMpact Leadership Day featured a “Business” theme and the group’s first order of business was to assemble over 500 kidsPACK food boxes for students in need over the Thanksgiving Break. Then, it was off to Catapult Lakeland where the students learned about how the organization offers support, start-up resources, and educational programs for Lakeland’s entrepreneurs. The Poor Porker welcomed UthMpact teens for a great learning opportunity to hear guest speaker, Giovanna Favilli, chef/owner of Casita Verde, share how she launched her business with the help of Lakeland’s own Catapult Kitchen.
Third stop of the day took the students to the RP Funding Center, where the group enjoyed a behind the scenes facility tour and a Zoom chat with Lakeland Magic President, Hans Steinbrenner. Topping off UthMpact Leadership's Business Day was a trip to Polk County Waste & Recycling where the students learned about how they handle and decompose all of the county's trash and why certain items cannot be recycled.
In addition to monthly Leadership Days, UthMpact is creating awesome memes to celebrate the positives that most of Polk's youth are not engaging in risky behaviors and are doing the right thing. Members are also advocating for Mental Health & Wellness and added a new tab on the UthMpact website (www.UthMpact.org) to educate teens that mental illnesses are more common than most think - in fact, 1 in 6 youth experience a mental health disorder each year.
UthMpact sends a huge THANK YOU to our community partners for
helping to arrange and host these fun and informative Leadership Days!