REPLogo (1)

"Own Your History"

A leadership course on the creative edge



Students connect their family story to American history. They also explore creativity and leadership principles and qualities and their own capacity for creating and leading.Personal and leadership development are part of each unit, through projects drawing on the history and dealing with bullying, prejudice, citizenship, fear, and cultural diversity.

1.Inheritances, Awareness and Leadership: How the past affects me and my future

c2Students will explore their family history to understand where and how they and their forebears fit onto the overall American historical narrative—and thus their own connection to the American historical experience considered in depth in this course.


How we each deal with our family and social inheritances—our history? How do we shape a better future for ourselves and our communities?


HISTORY and DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY: Inheritances (1) –Every aspect of your life is affected by American history—the American Story. In this activity, the focus is on historical “inheritances” in our society that have fundamentally affected all aspects of our day-to-day lives.  Students will explore and ask questions about the historical choices that have helped shape their lives: the nature and quality of their housing, schools, neighborhood, recreation, arts, sports, and cultural facilities. They will (1) read and respond in writing to three autobiographical remembrances about the circumstances in which the author grew up and (2) complete sections of a worksheet that looks at the circumstances of their own lives (housing, school, jobs, neighborhood, etc.) to see how past decisions and choices (history)  directly affect their lives today.

DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY: Biography Assignment. This activity helps students visualize what they would like to do with their lives, including how they might show “leadership,” by projecting themselves to age 85 and then looking back at their lives.

HISTORY and DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY: Family history and historical awareness. The purpose of this activity is for students to explore their personal and ancestral histories in ways that helps them locate their personal connections and that connects their personal/ancestral histories to important movements and events in the American Stories: treatment of immigrants and the recurring debates about rules and policies on admitting more people from around the world, movement within the US (East to West, South to North, farm to city, city to suburb, etc.), major economic developments, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, wartime and service in war, etc.

DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY: Introduction to leadership: Identifying leaders and leadership qualities – What is leadership? What makes a good leader?

2. Youth leadership — Brainstorming leadership qualities and assessing examples of young leaders

Each can be a leader at any age. Students will begin to identify leadership qualities progressthrough ownershipby looking at examples of youth leaders (e.g.,
TED talks or similar presentations by youths) with reference to six principles of leadership, which will be assessed continually throughout the Course.



What leadership qualities and skills can you identify in various videos of young innovators/leaders?


Based on video presentations about the initiatives of several young people, you will assess their leadership. You also will search for videos of other youth you find inspiring and assess them.


3. What is leadership? What makes a good leader?

Students will further explore their own qualities as a leader.


What is your “WHY”—your passion, your goal? How would you (initially) assess yourself with reference to the leadership principles? Why are principles important? What specific examples of your leadership
can you identify, and what are their practical implications?


(1) Experiential exercises will be used.
(2) Revise the notes for your biographer