Five Reasons You Need to be at Georgia Teen Institute this Summer

GTI-15_BranchOut_SignOnly_WEBWhy not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is. – Will Rogers

Blog 3What happens when a group of highly committed youth and young adults come together for the greater good? A better world for all of us! This is exactly what happens each summer at Georgia Teen Institute (GTI), a youth leadership program for Youth Action Teams throughout Georgia. This program provides unique, life-changing experiences that motivate participants to make a positive impact in their communities. They find life-long friends who are dedicated to the same cause and feel supported and empowered to create meaningful, sustainable change. Participants learn that even though they’re young, they have the ability to raise their voices together to change the world. GTI provides participants with the skills necessary to assess the needs of their communities, find and mobilize available resources and plan, implement and evaluate an action plan so that needed change can and will take place!

Blog 1This year, GTI’s theme is “Branch Out” to showcase the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone in order to make a positive impact in your community. When youth are encouraged and given the skills to branch out, it’s remarkable what they can do.

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I register? What’s in it for me and the youth I serve?”

Below you’ll find five reasons why YOU should “Branch Out” and register your Youth Action Team for GTI 2015:

  1. Trees can live up to 5,000 years, but they must be planted first. GTI provides a safe environment and the opportunity for participants to be planted and grow into vital community change agents. Participants receive tools, resources and skills needed to immediately start creating positive change in their local neighborhoods. These valuable lessons are long-lasting in the minds of those who attend.
  2. There are thousands of tree species throughout the world. GTI brings together diverse participants from across the state of Georgia. We believe there is immense value in bringing together different people who are working towards a common goal. When a variety of people come together in any capacity, what they create is multi-faceted, creative and something greater than what only one individual can accomplish. Our participants are able to experience this and walk away with a greater sense of cultural competency as well.
  3. Blog 2Trees breathe life into the world by producing oxygen. GTI breathes life into its participants by providing constructive opportunities for youth voice. Often times, youth are not encouraged or even allowed to share their opinion. In school and at home, they’re often told to do something, but aren’t given the reasons why or a chance to provide insight. When youth are placed in an encouraging environment and given the opportunity to use their voice, it’s amazing what they can and will achieve as a result.
  4. Trees act as windbreaks. GTI allows youth and adults from across the state of Georgia to have transparent conversations about change that needs to take place in their communities. By bringing together like-minded individuals of varying ages who want to make a difference, participants feel a sense of connection that acts as motivation and encouragement. By working together, this enables participants to grow confidently into a strong barrier which blocks winds of negative pressures, behaviors and attitudes.
  5. Trees have strong, deep roots that act as its anchor in the soil. While a community’s surroundings and people may change, a tree’s roots will stay deeply entrenched in the soil. GTI participants learn how to create deep-seeded roots of change in their local communities and beyond. These roots of change will infiltrate the community, making it a better place for generations to come.

Blog 5GTI is a truly extraordinary experience that you don’t want to miss. “Branch Out” and register today! Early Bird registration is due by 5:00 pm on April 10 and Regular registration is due by 5:00 pm on May 8.

For more information and to register, click here.

Should you have any questions about GTI or the registration process, feel free to contact the GTI Director, Mary Kate Chapman, at or 678-377-4139.

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