When Kefee Granite completed her third year of LEED, a Dublin learn-and-serve camp for middle school students, she was a little sad.

When Kefee Granite completed her third year of LEED, a Dublin learn-and-serve camp for middle school students, she was a little sad.

"I remember when I was in LEED and I asked for a high school program because I didn't want it to stop," Granite said.

Now a junior at Scioto High School, Granite is one 13 participants in the first year of the Dublin Teen Corps learn-and-serve summer program that focuses on teaching high school students about local government and government careers.

"One of the things we think we need to do a better job of is teaching students about our form of government," Dublin volunteer services administrator Christine Nardecchia said. "They don't understand what local government is. When they think about government they are thinking about the state and national government. They're not thinking of it in terms of a county or a city."

The program, which began in June and ends in mid-August, requires participants to volunteer once or twice a week with a children's recreation summer camp and to attend four group learning sessions.

"They're not going to leave here this summer knowing everything city staff does on a daily basis, but they are learning to understand who their local government is," Nardecchia said.

During the group sessions, the students visit various city departments and listen to speakers discuss various fields of service.

"We like to talk to them about things they wouldn't normally think about," Nardecchia said. "We have speakers from finance, taxes, technology, human resources, planning and development and the city manager."

Speakers often give the students a task to reinforce what's being discussed. For example, each participant was given a checkbook and had to write checks for the taxes being paid to the city, township, zoo and school district.

When City Manager Jane Brautigam spoke, she presented the participants with a city budget and a list of hypothetical projects. The participants had to examine the options and organize what was most important -- and within the budget.

"To us, the amazing thing was seeing the consensus styles," Nardecchia said. "They respectfully agreed and disagreed with each other and came to a mutual decision. It was a surprise."

The various tasks and speakers are helping Granite decide what she wants to do for a living.

"I'm more aware of the community and the opportunities I have for my future," Granite said. "I like H.R. (human resources) and I'm not that big on technology and finances. I think this is a great opportunity and a good experience to know what's out there. But I like volunteering with the little kids the most."

In addition to volunteering with children's recreation summer camps around the city, the students are participating in two larger volunteer service events. They will be working one of the admission gates on Sunday at the Dublin Irish Festival and are conducting a food drive for the Dublin Food Pantry.

"We feel like we're doing our due diligence," Nardecchia said. "No matter what the career they choose to pursue, they become better citizens."

The participants are expected to keep journals.

Nardecchia said one student wrote about how he never realized the impact of a city manager.

"They're making decisions that affect our future 50 to 80 years from now," Nardecchia said, quoting the participant's journal.

"I've learned a lot of already that I didn't know before," Granite said. "It gives me something to do in the summer and the new experiences open people's minds up."