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NMSU endowed chair, Las Cruces police host first youth leadership camp

Forty Las Cruces students in the seventh through ninth grades are expected to graduate this week from the first Youth Leadership Summer Camp.

Forty Las Cruces students are participating in the first Youth Leadership Academy organized by NMSU Stan Fulton Endowed Chair for Education Azadeh Osanloo, the City of Las Cruces and the Las Cruces Police Department. (Photo courtesy Azadeh Osanloo)

The graduation is being organized by Azadeh Osanloo, the Stan Fulton Endowed Chair in Education at New Mexico State University, in conjunction with the City of Las Cruces and the Las Cruces Police Department.

The camp began June 1 and will culminate in a graduation ceremony for students on June 12. The camp is taking place at Lynn Middle School, 950 S. Walnut St. During the camp participants learned valuable lessons such as teamwork building, DARE, DWI simulations and First Aid and CPR. On June 10, students will participate in a mock crime scene investigation.

The camp also includes tours of the NMSU campus, archery lessons and activities similar to the Character Counts module, said Osanloo, who is teaching an anti-bullying and harassment lesson during the camp.

?We understand the importance of instilling leadership in the youth of our community,? said Dan Trujillo, spokesman for the Las Cruces Police Department. ?We hope to do justice to that along with our community partners from NMSU and the public schools.?

Osanloo said she hopes the camp?s inaugural session will generate enough interest to bring it back annually with two or three two-week sessions each summer.

?I was excited to collaborate with the City of Las Cruces and Las Cruces Police Department to create the Youth Leadership Academy because I knew it would benefit the youth of Las Cruces in a variety of ways,? Osanloo said. ?This multifaceted and thoughtful approach to leadership enables students to become leaders in their own schools and communities, as well as consider leadership opportunities in the future.?

Osanloo said the program is not only helping students build skills and knowledge related to leadership, but it also assists in the development of social-emotional competencies like confidence, teamwork, positive interactions and active engagement.

?I feel honored and privileged to be part of this first-ever collaboration, as I firmly believe that we must work across and with stakeholders to better the lives of our youth,? Osanloo said.