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Aug. 29, 2017

Chandler Recreation’s teen leadership program honored

A City program that provides teen’s with real-world work experience and leadership training has won the Outstanding Education Program Award from the Arizona Parks & Recreation Association (APRA). The award was presented at APRA’s 67th Annual Conference held earlier this month in Phoenix.

Chandler’s Leaders In Training (L.I.T.) program is administered by the City’s Recreation Division and lead by two long-time recreation coordinators, Shawn Peoples and Tony Baumann. The award recognized the program's success in helping prepare teens for the professional world. Since 2001, the program has invited young adults to turn their summer downtime into leadership opportunities.

Over the course of six weeks, participants attend a series of leadership development workshops and volunteer in a variety of areas within Chandler City government, including accounting, recreation, aquatics, economic development, public safety, public housing, and several areas involving the private sector.

“The program was very helpful in gaining knowledge in the areas of customer service, networking and accountability,” said 2015 L.I.T. participant Heba Shiban. “The workshops provided me with real life experiences in the work force.”

This year’s class included 63 students. The work week began each Monday with professional development workshops presented by members of the local business and government community. Tuesday through Friday, teens were assigned to work four-hour shifts for a minimum of 12 hours per week. Teens also had the opportunity to attend field trips, including college tours.

“Our L.I.T. program is teaching our future leaders basic skills that they can use for the rest of their lives,” said Baumann. “It is getting our next generation to first think about their future and what they need to be successful.”

About APRA

APRA has nearly 1,000 members from local, county, state, and national agencies and organizations. Each year the awards committee receives hundreds of nominations and each is carefully reviewed by a panel of APRA professionals from around the state.