By Andrea Omer

The summer program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Vestar Branch, would not be complete without the Leaders in Training (LIT) program. The LIT program consists of youth in eighth through twelfth grade. These teens spend their summer days by volunteering throughout the Branch, assisting staff and kids as needed. This includes acclimating new members to the Club, preparing materials for art projects, building pirate ships, and pitching for the occasional kickball game.

Leaders in Training is a part of the education and career development programming of the Boys & Girls Club. To participate in the LIT program youth submit a resume, essay, and application at the beginning of April. After an interview, they are selected based on their qualifications and visible interest in participating. To prepare for the application process Vestar offers LIT Boot Camp, a career and college preparation program. Boot Camp takes place in March, over the course of five evenings. LIT expectations are discussed along with how to positively interact with youth. Participants play games, write cover letters, hold mock interviews, and discuss secondary education opportunities. It is not necessary to participate in Boot Camp to apply for LIT, but highly encouraged.

Twenty-four teens were chosen for the LIT program this year, five of which are veterans to the program. Every week they are assigned an age group to work with, rotating throughout the various areas of Vestar. They work five hour shifts, but are welcome to spend more time at the Club if they would like. By the end of summer the LITs will have clocked over 7,500 volunteer hours that can be applied to their school service hours and future resumes. On top of volunteering they also participate in a variety of fundraising opportunities: snack bar, car washes, and late night events at the Club. Their hard work earns them a trip to California; this year they will be travelling to Disneyland with other LITs from the organization.