The Program

Being a teenager is no walk in the park. Teens are crossing the bridge from childhood into adulthood. Their bodies are changing, their parental relationships can become strained, academic expectations are often stressful and at every turn, they’re faced with peer pressure to conform or worse, to do something not in their best interest. On top of that, high school-aged teens are preparing for college or entering the workforce and leaving home. Our community needs to give teens the tools and skills they need to make forward-thinking decisions, to be compassionate, to communicate with positive language and to have the courage and confidence to stand up for their values.

Hands-on Life Skills Training

U the Teen Leader delivers these tools through hands-on experiential training developed specifically for teenagers, ages 14 to 18. Developed under the same training methodology as U & Improved’s award-winning adult classes, this weekend-long class covers skills and techniques not taught in schools and is unlike any teen leadership program available. The program uses challenging processes that build character and teach confidence, teamwork, compassion, trust, honesty and the importance of asking for and accepting help from others. The training delivery method is unique in that students practice these new life skills so they can immediately apply them when they return home.

Core competencies delivered in the class include:

  • Focus
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-awareness
  • Accountability
  • Team building
  • Positive language
  • Listening and feedback skills
  • Creating win-win outcomes
  • Motivation
  • Enthusiasm


What the Class Includes

U the Teen Leader students are provided all the supplies they need for the class as well as meals, snacks and lodging. To help them avoid outside distractions, students stay overnight at the training site in Scottsdale, Arizona. The class is led by one of the most highly sought leadership trainers in the country who is backed by a team of trainer assistants. Volunteers patrol the training facility each night to ensure the safety and participation of each student. The training team goes to great lengths to enable students to stay 100% focused and gain the maximum benefit from the training. This attention to detail and concern for student safety also alleviates worries for the parents.

Students don’t simply leave the class with a T-shirt and workbook to reflect on their experience. They leave with a band of brothers and sisters with a common language and common goal, and a community to support them in their continued growth. 


The Training Methodology

The training methods used in this class are based on experiential learning. Students are actively involved in each process. Following each process, students are asked to share and reflect on their experience while the trainer guides them through the takeaways and new understanding gained through that experience. The philosophy is based on the same theory that you don’t learn to cook by reading a cookbook; you learn to cook by rolling up your sleeves and turning on the stove. The program enables students to practice these life skills with their peers in a safe and compassionate environment so they can immediately use the skills when they return home.

By design, sustainability is the underlying driver of the training. This is done by:

Delivering deeper life-coping applications. Through the unique hands-on, action-oriented training delivery model, this performance-based program enables immediate application once the student returns home.

Limiting class size. By keeping classes to a maximum of 22 students, individual attention and feedback is guaranteed. The training team is 100% focused on the student’s understanding and retention of the curriculum.

Empowering parents. Students’ parents and family members are an integral part of the program and at the conclusion of each class, the trainer meets with families to explain what the students have experienced and coaches them on how to sustain their takeaways.

Committing to diversity. Understanding and bridging our differences has become a paramount life skill. Classes are composed of teens from various backgrounds, beliefs and scholastic pursuits. The training emphasizes how to work together to create an inclusive and collaborative environment.

Heightening the experience through a private online community. At the completion of the training, graduates are invited to be part of a private online group to share experiences and enhance their communication.

U & Improved Foundation