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The 2013 Youth Leadership Summer Institute at the University of South Carolina Upstate kicks off today with the theme of “Empowering Young Leaders: Be Inspired, Be Informed, Be Involved.”  The one-week residential experience focuses on activities to inspire high school students to develop an awareness of issues regarding their environment, both physical and social. The program consists of educational and social components that examine aspects of leadership and civic engagement from local and global perspectives.

“Students will identify issues facing Spartanburg and the world, and explore problem-solving techniques, conflict resolution skills, cross-cultural communication, personal responsibility and respect for self and others,” said Dr. Jennifer Parker, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USC Upstate and director of the Institute.

A variety of interactive workshops, games, field trips and recreational activities will be utilized throughout the week, with evening activities consisting of a cookout, party night and movie nights. The Institute staff consists of USC Upstate faculty and students, along with national and international speakers.

Rep. Harold Mitchell will address the students on Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom and then they will partake in a poetry slam and karaoke event at Jazzman’s Café at 7:30 p.m. The group will spend time in Greenville on Wednesday. On Thursday, they will spend time at Hub Bub Showroom and the Cowpens Battlefield. Former Mayor Bill Barnet is scheduled to have breakfast with the students on Friday, June, 7 at 8:30 a.m.

For more details, call Dr. Jennifer Parker at (864) 503-5761(work) or (864) 804-9072 (cell), or view the Youth Leadership Institute schedule.

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