by Captain Jolinda Shelbourn
Captain Jolinda Shelbourn, the brains behind the Amplify program to develop leaders from youth, speaks about the program, and how to get started.
Communication begins by explaining the program to your corps officers. In our division, we sent each corps officer an email explaining the Amplify idea, purpose and important criteria like being able to take time away from school and being a soldier in good standing.
The corps officers were then responsible to communicate with their youth leaders or youth about the program. If there was someone who they considered a good fit, we encouraged the corps officers to speak to that young person directly.
Another communication role for the corps officers was to ensure the message about Amplify was consistent—it’s an elite group for grades seven through ten with youth chosen based on faithful corps attendance and participation. It also was crucial to also communicate adults believe in them.
We asked each corps officer to recruit at least one person to apply from their corps, giving them a hard deadline. Also, our divisional commander explained the program and encouraged participation at our pilgrimage, and it will also be promoted at youth councils next year.
As more young people graduate from the program, excitement among the youth should start build, and they’ll recruit one another. I’m asking some of our current members to write testimonies on what they’ve enjoyed most and why others should apply.
The first year yielded eight applicants. With seven spots available within my budget, the divisional finance board was given the authority to choose which seven would be accepted into the program.
Continued cultivation of Amplify will depend largely on word-of-mouth. Naturally, with this age group that means not only verbal but electronic communication on social media. We also will post information on the divisional youth department’s website and Facebook