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ESYO Young Leaders Delve into the 6C's of Positive Youth Development

Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) is dedicated to empowering young musicians to become exceptional leaders not only in music but also in school and life. This commitment is evident in the ESYO ensemble experience and CHIME, ESYO's afterschool partnership with the City of Schenectady School District. The Young Leader Program at ESYO offers an enriched leadership experience, connecting ESYO musicians with mentors, providing access to leadership training, and engaging them in hands-on projects that place them in leadership roles.

ESYO Young Leaders actively participate in ESYO programs, collaborate on community service projects, and regularly attend sessions to explore their interests, acquire new skills, and cultivate their leadership abilities. In a recent leadership workshop, ESYO Young Leaders had the opportunity to delve into the 6 C's of Positive Youth Development, facilitated by ESYO Alumni and CHIME Teaching Artist, Laura Van Voris. Van Voris, currently pursuing a Master of Social Work at the University at Albany, emphasized that Positive Youth Development centers around six core values: competence, connection, character, confidence, contribution, and caring.

This framework, rooted in extensive research, emphasizes the creation of environments that support young people in leveraging their strengths, exploring their interests, and fostering positive relationships with peers and adults. By seamlessly incorporating these strategies into the ESYO Young Leaders Program and embracing the 6 C's wholeheartedly, ESYO transforms its approach, spotlighting a model that encourages collaboration, creativity, and personal growth. This approach provides a platform for young leaders to flourish, offering avenues for the development of essential life skills such as teamwork, resilience, and self-expression.

During the workshop, Van Voris observed a recurring theme, a leitmotif in the symphony of young voices: "Confidence! Many of them expressed a desire to become more confident in themselves," remarked Van Voris. She continued, emphasizing the paramount importance of confidence for young musicians, noting that it contributes significantly to their overall well-roundedness in the other areas of Positive Youth Development.

As ESYO continues to foster a supportive environment, it not only enriches the musical journey of young musicians but also instills in them the confidence and skills needed to navigate the broader symphony of life. Through the power of music and leadership development, ESYO cultivates a harmonious future for its young leaders, inspiring them to reach new heights and make a positive impact on the world.