This class has dramatically increased my ability to do speeches in front of my school classes. Before Kasama’s class, I would stutter and shake while doing speeches but now I’m able to confidently present. I’ve also learned so many new social skills that I can take with me so that in the future, I’ll know how to act when applying for something important like a job. Her class isn’t boring at all and I know that most, if not all, of her past students would agree. Her class has the group doing team building activities that are very fun and active compared to sitting in class during a regular school day. This class is something that’s changed me and would be great for anyone wanting to get rid of shyness like it did with me, or wanting to become a leader.
~ Kwin L, Middle School Student
My son attended Kasama’s Leadership Academy for 2 years. I’m not going to lie – he was NOT happy when I signed him up. But week after week, he showed up and always left with a smile. His introverted personality fit right in with the smaller group dynamics and he really took the learning to heart. For my son, this program could really have been titled “Self-Confidence Boost Academy” because that was where I saw his biggest growth. One session that was particularly powerful for him was quite simple, but lasting… The students were asked to write down a series negative words they think about themselves and positive words they think about themselves. They then destroyed all the negative words and placed all the positive words in a small plastic egg for safe keeping. My son still has that egg full of positive words on display on a shelf in his room.
Thank you Kasama for helping my son explore and support different areas of his personality in a safe environment!
~ Finuala Liberti, Parent
The after school class that Kasama put on is such a wonderful class to be in. I was in it in 7th and 8th grade and loved it so much the first time that I had to come back. The activities she had us do were really fun and opening. And at the end of the day before we leave she has us give her one take away from the day and I think it’s so nice because everyone has one so you know they were paying attention and participating. I recommend this class because it’s very fun and you really get something out of it. You get more prepared for school and thinking in a different but good way. This class has changed me by getting me to actually talk and open up, since I was really quite the first time I took the class but in 8th grade I started to talk more and get involved in the activities. So I do recommend this class and I’m positive you’ll get something out of it.
~ Erin H, Middle School Student
Erin has benefited so much from taking your leadership class. She not only has thought about but has decided what she wants to do in terms of a career. She was very nervous about high school before this class & during & after she is more confident about going. I think one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in her is how focused she is on her education. The fact that she came home & wanting to go to the high school math course this summer blew me away!
I also want to say that you have been so helpful beyond the class…helping us find a math tutor & writing the letter of recommendation for Erin to get into the summer course was above & beyond. I would & have recommended that your leadership course should be taken!
~ Susan Hoodei, Parent
I’m different and to be around other people who are different too makes you feel like you’re not alone. I can learn from other people my age and have learned to be open around them. I have learned skills to go out with confidence to do anything I want to. I have learned to be a better leader as a captain of the football team at my high school. I have learned about leadership that it requires you to be different things to different people to lead instead of just telling them what they are doing wrong.
~ Levi Harris, Vallejo High School Student
From the class, I have learned how to prioritize in all aspects of life whether it’s school, friends, money or otherwise. I’ve learned that whatever you do, do it for you and to make yourself happy because if it doesn’t make you happy, you are not living a life, you are just existing.
~ Keevonne Smith, Jesse Bethel High School Student
I can’t tell you enough how much I’ve seen my son’s mindset grow in your Leadership Academy. This is something I want him in throughout the remainder of his high school career! I just wish I could have convinced him to go earlier to your program. Thank you Kasama for investing in my son!
~ Sheila Hart, Director of Noah’s Ark Christian Preschool
Kasama Lee has been a breath of fresh air not just to our family, church youth group but to our local community. We recently enrolled our 17 yr.old son into Kasama’s Young Leadership Academy. From the very first day he came home charged and excited about what he has learned about himself, his peers and the world around him. He is eager to return to the academy each week and has been inspired to read and learn more about how to be an effective leader. We are proud of him and grateful for the work that Kasama is doing. Thank You Kasama!
~ Bryan & Kelly Harris – Pastor; Emmanuel Temple Apostolic Church Vallejo, CA
Great job! The youth love your ministry…Would love to have you come again. God bless you.
~ Pastor Jerone Davison; Harvest Ministry Life Center, Fairfield, CA
I am truly honored to have been a part of such a motivational experience. The workshop led by Kasama allowed me to break through barriers that I didn’t know existed and helped me to build a stronger working relationship with my staff. Kasama showed us that it was ok to be vulnerable and allow people into our hearts. I am grateful for the experience and wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. “
~ Antony Ryans, Recreation Coordinator-Youth Department, Greater Vallejo Recreation District
Kasama Lee is one of the most inspirational and benevolent people I’ve ever met. The first time I ever encountered her was in my Leadership class, and she told me about her program Teens in Leadership. At first, I’ll admit, I thought it was another one of those “this is how you become a leader” programs that I’ve sat through time and time again. These programs usually start with a witty story and end with you feeling as if you were given a random destination with no map. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The first day I went to Kasama’s program, I was asked who my biggest role model was. This was a question I had never been asked before, and I was stopped right in my tracks. I thought, “Well this wasn’t what I thought it would be… where is she going with this?” When I realized my role model was my father, she asked me even more questions! “What qualities make him someone you can look up to?” “What qualities do you try to replicate in yourself?,” and so on. I have to say, the best things about Kasama are: she’s never in a hurry and she’s never looking for one specific answer. I took a while to answer my questions, and the group of young adults I was with inspired me almost as much as Kasama herself. In the end, the session was what we made it and we each came to our small epiphanies.
Each week the sessions followed this pattern, and each week I learned more and more about myself. I dug deeper into myself than I ever had before, and I started answering the question that I’m still working on today: “Who am I?” Kasama asked all the right questions, and when we asked her a question, her answer was filled with the wisdom of someone who had been in our shoes. However, she never talked down to me, because she knew an answer that I could not fathom. Soon, I went to Kasama every time I was preparing for something big. It turns out, she can give you advice on just about anything. She can advise you on everything from the appropriate way to act during an interview to how to fix your relationship with your parents. Kasama didn’t just limit herself to one program, she has been invovled with career day, college day, the National Honor Society, city events, and any other program that can lead people to greatness. Kasama is someone who uses her life struggles to change the lives around her, and if you ever find yourself feeling lost she can hit all the buttons to get your GPS working correctly again.
~ From The Girl Who Finally Found Her Map
Teens In Leadership has helped me grow not only as a leader, but also as a person. This program has taught me how to examine myself and how to self-critique. I have gained many new perspectives, and I have learned how to positively affect others and my community as a whole. The program has taught me how to develop myself and my personal skills as I move forward in life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without this program and without Kasama.
~ Solomon S, Student
I can unquestionably say that this program and Kasama Lee has changed me. Going to the classes, little by little I began to see change in myself. The way I acted, the way I talked, the way I approached things. It boosted my confidence to take risks to be able to be the leader that I wanted to be to make a difference not only at school, but in our community. It taught me and gave me the urge to listen to other people’s needs, to do what it right rather than what’s popular, and because of that it gave me the motivation and determination to make a giant leap and run for Associated Study Body for next school year as a junior. And because of everything this program has taught me, the students of American Canyon High School saw my drive to make that change I’ve been wanting to make but was too afraid to do so, and they granted me the trust to be part of ASB. I believe that the greatest treasure and the most important thing that I have learned through this program was that you need to be the change that you want to see in the world.
~ Hannah B, Student
Kasama taught me not only lessons of how to be a leader, but lessons of life. Being a leader isn’t just telling people what to do; a leader is a valued figure who does his/her best to help others progress. Kasama’s voice still rings through my head when it comes to making important decisions as a leader. Her passion and enthusiasm was instilled in me, and I’ll never regret meeting Kasama. Going into Teens in Leadership inspired me to run for ASB vice president for my school, take the position of historian for the National Honor Society of American Canyon, become a member of Link Crew, strive for excellence during and after high school, and make positive changes to my bad habits, my perspective on daily challenges, and my views on myself.
~ Kaleo W, Student
Throughout the year that I was mentored by you, I had seen myself grow as a leader. I wasn’t as confident with public speaking until I met you. You inspired me to face my fears and to overcome them. People would call me their role model or someone they looked up to. The person I looked up to was you because you were an amazing mentor and role model. You taught me many things about life and how to deal with certain situations. You taught me that a leader is a person with great passion and a person who helps others grow into leaders themselves. My passion for leadership grew when I stepped into those doors where we had our weekly meetings. Every time I left the room after the meetings, I would have goals that I set and wanted to achieve. I’ve achieved those goals and I’m continuing to achieve more. I learned that in order to succeed it takes hard work and determination. I’ve had that fire in me since I was little because I wanted to be that person who could touch lives like how you’ve touched mine.
~ Tina H, Student
First, thank you for presenting in my classes. You did make a difference in my students, even though they were a bit quiet. I spoke to some students after you headed out, and they confirmed that they were busy thinking!! You gave them not only something to think about, but real confidence that they can succeed! To me, that is priceless. Again, thank you for taking your time to share your expertise with my students. I am sure that they will hear your voice for years to come!
~ Ms. Elizabeth Goff, Teacher
Your ability to connect with teens is unparalleled. They are drawn in by your energy, charm and invigorating spirit. Your presentation to my seniors about having a “Plan B” in life was engaging and enjoyable. It’s one of the highlights of the school year so far. I am looking forward to having you back in my class soon for another discussion about how these teens can prepare themselves as they head out into the big wide world.
~ Ms. Elaine Boloyan, Teacher