LDI’s 2017 Emerging Leaders Summer Academy – Midpoint Rest Stop
Each summer, Life Development Institute (LDI) provides a five-week summer academy wherein students increase skills related to employment, diversity, and leadership while at the same time developing social and independent living skills. The Emerging Leaders Summer Academy keeps with LDI’s vision of providing education to teens and young adults who have learning disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and other social and learning differences. The academy is open to students 16 – 26 and is already beginning to see interest from prospective students for its 2018 cohort.
Currently, the 2017 Emerging Leaders Summer Academy is underway with 22 students from across the United States. The core focus of the three classes has been aimed at creating resumes and cover letters, developing skills for online job searching as well as interview skills, reflecting upon individual traits that enable the students to develop the leader within them, and to discover the availability of assistive technology that can be used to increase their successes. Students can earn two transferable units of high school credit along with one college credit through LDI’s collaboration with Phoenix College. By focusing on these elements, students can depart the five weeks equipped with tools for employment and skills for life.
Additionally, students have been participating in dorm life and the multiple activities offered. Students have learned to become accustomed to living with a roommate and have developed a sense of awareness for other people. Furthermore, students have stretched themselves by becoming active participants in social life, whether it be eating together as a community in the dining commons or lounging together in the evenings with peers or participating in evening and weekend activities, which have included the lava caves, volunteering at Rainbow Acres, and Flagstaff’s First Friday. To guide this time together, the students created a mission statement as seen below:
The 2017 Emerging Leaders Summer Academy’s mission is to take responsibility for bonding with each other in the spirit of comradery so that we create a fun, honest, loyal, kind, and respectful family who collaborates by exercising self-control, practicing self-esteem, communicating effectively, and building social skills, which empower us to gain independence.