Building Tomorrow’s Leaders

Inspiring future leaders and problem-solvers through interactive programs, both inside and outside the classroom. Our single-session and multi-session workshops provide a platform for empowering youth to meet life’s challenges with confidence and competence. In-school programs for kindergarten through high school. After-school programs for 2nd through 12th grade. Leadership training, peer mentoring, dramatic performances, and community service, are just a few of the ways our youth get involved and make a difference in the lives of others.

See below to register for our programs.

New Canaan Cares, Youth Programs
New Canaan Cares, Youth Programs
New Canaan Cares, Youth Programs
New Canaan Cares, Youth Programs

“Leadership Challenge gave me the voice and the confidence to share my ideas in class, with adults, and with kids my own age. I am not a super student or an athlete and sometimes it is hard to get recognized for just being nice. Leadership Challenge gave me that edge.”

Kristina M., CARES Leadership Challenge Graduate
Elementary School


The KidPOWER program is a unique opportunity for second through fourth graders to learn valuable life skills in an open environment.

Led by a CARES faculty mentor and high school leaders, students are presented with a multitude of interactive games and activities which facilitate communication, problem-solving, self-confidence and resilience.

These after-school workshops foster friendship and teamwork, while providing a safe and fun environment for kids to be themselves.

Skills Addressed

  • Self-Confidence
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Team Building

New Canaan Cares, KidPOWER

Middle School

Community Service Ambassadors

The community service ambassador’s program provides a unique multi-faceted mentoring opportunity. This program is able to build healthy relationships between both high school and middle school students allowing each to benefit immensely. High schoolers are given the ability to teach leadership skills to middle schoolers, and middle schoolers then pass it on to students with special needs. It is truly an incredible chain reaction.

This program is able to teach valuable skills such as assertiveness, communication, problem solving, and socialization through a variety of interactive games and activities. Offered two semesters each year after school at Saxe Middle School, spots are limited so sign up today!

Skills Addressed

  • Assertiveness
  • Preparedness
  • Communication
  • Resilience

New Canaan Cares, Community Service Ambassadors

High School

Leadership Challenge

This selective semester-long program trains current high school students in the community to become successful driven leaders. This program leaves kids with a multitude of leadership skills designed to serve them in future endeavors even beyond their high school environments. By allowing students to step outside the classroom and get involved in a variety of community organizations, and truly make a difference in the lives of others. Students will walk away with 10-15 hours of service learning and 45 hours of leadership training and the knowledge that they have made a difference.

Facilitated by the CARES Executive Director, Meg Domino, PhD, students are able to grow individually and alongside their peers in a supportive and fun environment. This knowledge filled program leaves students capable and confident to take on the next avenue in their life. Admittance into Leadership Challenge is by nomination: parent, peer, self, faculty, and/or community leader.

Skills Addressed

  • Public Speaking
  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • Poise & Presence

New Canaan Cares, Leadership Challenge

In School Workshops


High school students write, direct, and perform skits for elementary and middle school students on a variety of topics including transitioning to high school, branching out, staying true to yourself, and peer pressure.

Private Group Workshops

CARES offers private workshops for youth groups (i.e. NCL, Girl Scouts, SLOBs, etc.) on a variety of topics. Programs are offered as 1-3 session sets, with knowledge, skill, and practical application components. Topics include peer pressure, Exclusion, Transitions, and much more. Call or email CARES to schedule a workshop for your youth group.

Please contact CARES to schedule a workshop for your group.

Community Partners

“Halo Studios – Home to KidPower and Leadership Challenge – supports the fine work New Canaan CARES does on behalf of youth and families in New Canaan. Halo studios is a warm, collaborative community with no membership requirements where you can choose your own health and wellness adventures.” 

Cindy Z., HALO Studios


Halo-reverse (2)Halo Studios is home to nine independent businesses – Pryority, Physical Therapy and Integrative Medicine, Nearwater Pilates, Bodymechanics,Sama Yoga Center, Halo Fitness, New Canaan Racquet Club, an organic cafe and pro shop. To further empower people to lead healthier and more balanced lives, Halo leases three open studios, one meditation garden, the lobby and two suites by the hour, day or week. Now open 5:30 am – 9:30 pm Monday through Thursday; 5:30 am – 8 pm Friday; 8 am – 6pm Saturday and Sunday.