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Today is:

The Chronicles of

Volume 1: Reconstruction Inc./ L.E.A.D.

By Will Baptist

Reconstruction Inc./ L.E.A.D. (Leadership Education and Advocacy Development) provides critical thinking, decision-making, problem solving, peer counseling and facilitation. These goals are to help participants to become self determined, responsible and accountable to themselves and others. They will also be invited to enroll in Reconstruction's L.E.A.D. program.   Also as aftercare they will be given the opportunity to help develop and facilitate community based Saturday schools. has been working with L.E.A.D. for the past 6 months as part of our community empowerment and engagement component. We meet weekly to get updates as to the progress at the Youth Opportunity Centers.   We reflect on what has been or needs to be accomplished in the past and coming weeks.   Also, to plan which guest speakers will come in to help assist, give trainings and share experiences.   We dialogue with other facilitators at the other centers.   At these meetings we have check-in, which give added support for personal issues and problems.  

This process has helped to develop community-based programs that engages youth where they are at and helps us to utilize emerging information technology, trainings, discussion groups and events to encourage unity and understanding.   This provides people of every ethnic and cultural background the opportunity to share their experiences, thoughts and opinions with the world.

Today we are here with Charlotte Sigler, 22 years old, who has been a L.E.A.D. facilitator and Resource Coordinator for Reconstruction Inc. for 2 years. L.E.A.D. has been working at the Youth Opportunity Centers since 2003 providing discussion groups on Emotional Awareness, Family Dynamics and Institutional Awareness.   In the summer sessions, educational excursions are added to amplify their message and broaden the youths' experiences.

GeoClan:   How did your become a member of L.E.A.D.?

Charlotte: Well, there was a class given at 166 West Lehigh in North Philadelphia for persons recently released from prison.   It was a re-entry into society class that spoke to dealing with stress and anger better. It also dealt with life skills, getting GED and not going back to prison.

GC:   Why did you get locked up?


Charlotte:   I was locked up for robbery.   I was about 15yrs old and was locked up for about 6 years.   My sentence was originally 4 and a half to 10 years, but because of fighting, outbursts and cursing people out I did not get out until 2 months shy of 6 years.    

GC:   How are you doing with the law now?


Charlotte:   GOOD!   I'm on parole until 2007.   My Parole Officer says that I am one of her success stories.   With my parole I am not allowed to get high or drink.   I take two urine tests a month.   I can leave Philadelphia without permission.    


GC:   What was appealing about Reconstruction?


Charlotte:   Reconstruction was going to the Northeastern Treatment Center and talking to youth that were coming from the same place that I was.   I felt like youth in general were not aware of what was going on around them or of all the consequences that lay in store for juvenile offenders.   I remember being locked at 19 years old and there was a 13 year old girl in there with me.   She was only 13 years old!  Reconstruction gives me the opportunity to reach youth and give them different perspectives and healthy options.

GC:   Did you take to facilitating naturally?


Charlotte:   Yes, because I listen and I have my own experiences that can contribute to developing bonds with the youth we engage.

GC:   How does your family feel about your work?

Charlotte:   My family has had a history of trouble and is very supportive of what I do.   They ask questions from time to time but mostly offer support when I need them.

GC:   What do you hope to achieve?

Charlotte:   I would like to achieve more growth in myself, and a change for the positive in other youths' lives. I want to broaden their perspectives and be more global.   Take these messages to the world.

GC:   What do you want to do when you get older?


  Charlotte: I want to have children, go to college, and continue to work with youth and also model.


Charlotte Sigler, L.E.A.D.
Facilitator and Resource Coordinator



Discuss L.E.A.D.

on GeoBoards

Anthony Williams, L.E.A.D. facilitator and Project Coordinator
William Goldsby,
Executive Director of Reconstruction Inc.

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