Area students gain valuable training at Fredonia’s innovative Promising Leaders program

Tuesday May 29, 2018Lisa Eikenburg
Promising Leaders and participants
Promising Leaders and participants included (back, from left): Jack Forster (Fredonia), Gregory Lapp (Brocton), Noah Merchant (Silver Creek), Cecelia Eklum (Washington Middle), Julia Fortna (Fredonia), Lauren  Marshal (Fredonia), Jane Fortna (Fredonia), Kelly Gullo (Fredonia), Aden Nickerson (Sherman),  Laura Johnston (Brocton), Taylor Nehrbass (Silver Creek), Kayla Yokom (Sherman), Jamie Black (Westfield) and Marcus Volk (Pine Valley); and (front, from left) Olivia Corbett (Dunkirk), Makayla Pasierb (Dunkirk), Rachel Glowniak (Dunkirk), Audrey Stresing (Brocton), Siena DeAngelo  (Washington Middle), Madeline Lancaster (Westfield), Matthew Emmons (Westfield), Emily Brown (Fredonia), Morgan Sandy (Pine Valley) and Jocelyn Tyma (Pine Valley).

More than two dozen Chautauqua County students engaged in a variety of interactive leadership activities at the first Promising Leaders program event at Fredonia.

Promising Leaders, conducted by the university’s Pre-College Outreach program on Tuesday, May 22, highlighted concepts of being a model leader in a community, soft-skills training through a campus scavenger hunt, building a positive self-brand and college and career readiness. Also part of the program was the opportunity to hear remarks by prominent community leaders.

Each participating school had the ability to identify three students who showed leadership qualities, but were not necessarily leaders. Activities were held at the Williams Center, Science Center, Reed Library, Stele Hall, Alumni Hall and Rockefeller Arts Center.

"The idea behind the program was to help students realize their own potential and how they can be leaders in their schools, as well as right here in Chautauqua County," explained Rebekah Conti, assistant director of Pre-College Outreach at Fredonia. "Each student brings such a unique set of talents and abilities. It was truly amazing to see them interact with one another openly throughout the day and leave here with new friends and smiles on their faces."

Eight schools – Brocton Central School, Dunkirk High School, Fredonia High School, Pine Valley High School, Sherman Central School, Silver Creek Central School, Washington Middle School and Westfield Academy and Central School – enrolled 25 students in the day-long program. Teacher, counselors and administrators from the schools also participated in the event.

Those who served on a panel of leaders included Mayor Athanasia Landis of the Village of Fredonia, Superintendent of Dunkirk City Schools James Tracy, and Fredonia’s Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services Cedric Howard. The leaders shared with students their stories on how they reached their leadership position, provided inspirational advice and guidance and shared how students can be leaders in their own way.

Promising Leaders is believed to be the first of its kind on campus and is planned to be an annual event to honor exceptional students in the county.


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