As I celebrate February as Youth Leadership Month, I am proud to reflect on the 10 years I have spent in the field of Youth Leadership in Northwest Indiana. After 5 years teaching elementary and middle school, I transitioned into the role of Development Manager with Michigan City Area Schools Safe Harbor. In January of 2020, I moved into the role of the MCAS Safe Harbor Program Director. While the past year has been challenging to youth workers around the country, MCAS Safe Harbor has met each challenge with innovation, flexibility, and with the needs of the youth we serve at the top of our priority list.
What is MCAS Safe Harbor?
MCAS Safe Harbor is an out of school time program which offers research based enrichment to Michigan City students grades K-12. Areas of enrichment include STEAM, College and Career Readiness, Social & Emotional Learning, Fitness & Wellness, Literacy, as well as additional academic support. Academic supports include Credit Recovery, English and Math Tutoring, and SAT Prep. MCAS Safe Harbor also runs the Hours for Ours Mentoring program and the Michigan City Robotics teams for grades K-12. MCAS Safe Harbor is proud to be the longest
running 21stCentury Community Learning Center in the state of Indiana.
Youth Leadership Philosophy
Students deserve an educational experience that is inclusive, holistic, engaging, and
culturally responsive. As youth development professionals, we have the sacred
opportunity and obligation to help young people see themselves and each other as
powerful contributors to the world around them. By providing access to enriching
educational programs, we can empower all students, both academically and socially, to
identify and celebrate their strengths; challenge themselves; and achieve both
short-term and long-term goals. I hope that my work in youth development builds a generation of passionate citizens who are confident in their abilities and dedicated to their wider communities.
NWI Youth Program Funding and Partnerships
Through collaborative partnerships and innovative funding streams, youth leadership is a strong component to the ongoing success of Northwest Indiana. MCAS Safe Harbor is funded through the IDOE 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, United Way of LaPorte County, and Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation. In addition to funding, community partnerships play an important role in the success of youth programming. In recent years, we
have had the pleasure of partnering with Indiana Youth Institute to provide quarterly Youth Workers Cafes, providing ongoing professional development to youth workers across Northwest Indiana. We are proud to be a partner of the United Way of LaPorte County Mentoring
Collaborative, which brings Laporte County mentoring programs together to share resources and best practices. MCAS Safe Harbor also partners with the Porter County Master Gardeners, which allows us to run a dynamic youth horticulture program in which students earn their Junior Master Gardener Certification.
MCAS Safe Harbor
219-873-2026, ext. 8740