By Patrick McDermott

My name is Patrick McDermott and I have been a member of the Youth Leadership Coalition (YLC) for the last 3 years. I have grown a lot in just 3 years as a participant of the YLC. My leadership, training, and public speaking skills have been sharpened as a result of my participation. All of these skills have greatly improved because of the fantastic Train-the-Trainer model we implement at YLC.

The Spread Karma team, who works with the YLC as a consulting group, was a tremendous help. They were great trainers during my first year in YLC. They helped develop my public speaking skills through different activities like the “hot seat” where you speak on a random topic in front of all the other participants. These kinds of exercises helped me come out of my shell and prepared me to be a trainer. Once I became a trainer the following year, I experienced challenges but was motivated intrinsically because I know the only way to improve as a trainer is to do more training!

The Spread Karma team coached us on what we needed to improve on and how to lead more effectively. This is when I believe that my leadership skills and training ability came into their own. At the end of the 2nd year, me and a fellow YLC trainer, Lavender, as well as a former trainee/ now trainer, Kayshawna, got the opportunity to run a workshop on collective impact at a youth summit in Albany. This really let us showcase how far we have come and how much we have improved. This is the 3rd year that I will be participating in YLC, and I am extremely excited to see how much more I will improve and where I will be at the end of this year!