The Compassionate Leaders Program is a yearlong training that incorporates weekly meetings, a three-day leadership retreat, a monthly film series on ethics and altruism, adult mentoring, and local and international community service projects. During weekly meetings students develop skills in focused attention, empathy, self-care, kindness, and compassion through discussions on ethics and values, meditation practice and collaborative games that strengthen emotional awareness. Throughout the year students read several books including Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, by the Dalai Lama, Happiness by Matthiue Ricard, The Lost Art of Good Conversation, by Sakyong Mipham, and a selection of articles that critically examine the impact and complexity of "voluntourism" and community service.
At the end of the school year students engage in a weekend retreat that brings together team-building exercises, prolonged periods of self-reflection, and a sweat lodge ceremony.
Along with developing the skills of compassionate leadership students commit to local community service projects. Many of these projects are student initiated and some involve other partnering organizations. In early August students participate in a three day project with The Sawtooth Society, restoring trails in the remote Sawtooth National Recreational Area.
During the year Rotarians will be asked to participate in weekly meetings and engage in group discussions about films in our ethics and altruism film series. As adults committed to "Service Above Self", Rotarians serve as valuable mentors and role models for many of our students.
We are requesting a $8,832 District Matching Grant for program coordination, retreat site rental fees, books, and the ethics and altruism film series. Please see the budget sheet for more details on program expenses.