Whitehall Middle School MMLI Plan


 The Michigan Middle School Leadership Initiative is designed to assist middle school students in becoming agents of positive change within their communities through:

Theory of Action

If we develop the natural leadership abilities of all participants by providing concrete leadership tools, increase awareness of civic action opportunities for middle school age students by sponsoring a community change project and create an active network of middle school age leaders in our state then we can establish a positive student leadership culture within Whitehall Middle School to effect student achievement.  

Summary of Plan

To accomplish these outcomes, The American Youth Foundation partners with local middle schools to select teams of 6th-8th graders who have been identified as emerging student leaders. They may not be students who already hold leadership positions, but are those who have been recognized by school staff as positive role models with a desire to make a difference. Each school will also be responsible for selecting one faculty member who will act as an advisor/mentor for the team.  The team and advisor attend Camp Miniwanca, near Shelby, MI, where they engage in activities designed to promote leadership skills.  When they return to school they plan and create a year-long project that will guide their year’s activities to enrich their school community for the benefit of all.  

Our teachers recommend students they believe would enjoy and greatly benefit from the MMLI experience.  Typically we are able to send 10 students each year; this group then becomes a leadership organization for our school, meeting frequently to fine-tune and implement their schoolwide project, for their peers' benefit.

Programming Scaffolding

6th Grade Camp Pendalouan - Students discover their Spark and explore ways that they can use it to achieve their best in all aspects of life.

6th - 8th SPARK Class - Advise students about their SPARK.  First Discover, then learn about their spark, and then finally develop its use in the community.

7th & 8th MMLI - Develop leadership skills of emerging leaders.  


MMLI Coordinator

Aaron Boyd

In 2007 the Michigan Middle School Initiative was created by Miniwanca with the vision of Tom Moore and Adam Russell.  The camp experience takes 8 schools with 10 students each to Camp Miniwanca for 4 days and nights.  The key purpose is to equip middle level students with a voice to the needs to their community, create an action plan and put into action their plan.  In the process the students work on developing leadership skills.  The first 5 years of the program the funding was paid for by the American Youth Foundation.  Adam Russell also bring volunteers from many areas to donate their time as facilitators.  Whitehall Middle school has attended every year except for 2008 (A mistake was made in the signing up that year.)  The students projects have ranged from reducing electricity use to celebrating the middle school with a Color the Vikings run.