Privately owned and operated by Mike Herzog, Youth in Charge provides programs and activities for youth and families — in group or private sessions — that promotes the development of leadership qualities in children.
Herzog, a licensed teacher, brings with him more than a two decades worth of experience imparting leadership skills to young people, first through Santa Cruz Soccer Camp — which he formerly co-owned — and then as director of the Quest after-school program that was offered for several years at SLE.
Herzog said that the goal of the classes, which will meet after classes three days per week, will use positive encouragement to help the youths develop what he described as “core qualities of leadership and our capacities to live fulfilling and influential lives.”
He said that the programs will have an in-class portion and an outdoors portion, as students will be encouraged to assume leadership roles in creating games, teaching them, and leading play.
“I’m teaching them how to run a set of skill drills and games,” Herzog said. “Get in front of a group of people and use positive discipline.”
Each student, he said, will be given a booklet wherein they will document their progress, and make notes to themselves of what has worked for them, and what hasn’t, as a means of developing their strengths.
He said that the foundation for his curriculum started when he developed a leadership course for the older campers at Santa Cruz Soccer Camp. The older campers
“We taught these older campers how to coach,” Herzog said. “They would be taught on the fundamentals of how to be a coach, how to be a good leader — kids that went through it got amazing experience.”
Increasing a child’s leadership abilities, Herzog said, is beneficial to the child’s self-esteem, and can have a dramatic effect on his or her interactions with others — at school, at home, and later in life.
“The idea is that it’s not childcare, but it is work,” he said. “When kids learn how to lead others, they bring these skills home with them.”
The program is not affiliated with the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District, Herzog said, and operates on the campus as part of an agreement with the campus administration.
For more information, visit http://Youthincharge.net or call 421-1060.
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