Leadership training and community service with a focus on aviation; molding future leaders for nonprofits and the nation.
A Launchpad for Future Leaders
Leadership Development • Air Cadet League of Canada
When young people have access to quality programs that teach valuable skills and connect them to their communities, the world is a better place. That’s a core belief of the Air Cadet League of Canada, an organization that combines leadership training, community service, and a focus on aviation.
“A thriving Cadet program means that every Canadian youth—regardless of where they live or their socio-economic background—has access to quality youth programming and activities,” says Danielle Russell, executive director of the group’s Ontario Provincial Committee. “For the Air Cadets, this means that every Canadian youth has the chance to, to the best of their abilities, pursue experience and licenses in aviation.”
In addition to aviation education, the league offers young Canadians training in skills like public speaking, access to job fairs, and opportunities to win academic scholarships. While some activities have shifted or paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, Russell says the organization is striving to maintain budget and continuity for the future.
If the Air Cadet League succeeds in its goal, the world will be filled with a bevy of youth who go on to positions of leadership in their communities.
“Alumni of the Air Cadet Program go on to serve as members of the Armed Forces, to work in the aviation industry as pilots and mechanics, or to make demonstrable contributions to the leadership of any industry in which they pursue careers,” Russell says. — Rasheeda Childress
[Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the correct title for Danielle Russell. We apologize for this error.]
Made, Not Born
Leadership Development • Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity
There’s that old expression that some people are “born leaders,” but Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity believes leaders are also molded by experience.
“Our mission is preparing campus and community leaders through service,” says the group’s executive director, Bob London, CAE. “Our alumni go on to be everything from nonprofit leaders to religious leaders and presidents of the United States.” APO alums include former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, among others.
In some ways, the job of molding future leaders is harder now. “The challenge we face today is the over-programming of kids, so they are being raised in ways that do not allow them to develop natural leadership skills,” London says. “There are a lot of organizational and project management skills that they do not have when they come to college. We developed programs to help them do that, to give them the education, as well as the practical experience.”
In partnership with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, the group offers a certified nonprofit credential that its members can earn while still in college. The CNP, along with other APO programs that require service hours and intense training, focus on teaching students the skills they’ll need to lead an association or a nation.
“It means we will have many more people in the nonprofit and association space who have the skill set to help associations grow and achieve their missions,” London says. — Rasheeda Childress