Students invited to apply for Youth Leadership Conference
April 25, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2012 at 11:25 p.m.
The Victoria Business and Education Coalition and Pioneer Natural Resources will host incoming seventh graders from throughout the Crossroads to attend the annual Youth Leadership Conference.
The week-long camp is designed to help students learn effective leadership skills.
"What I've heard from students who have attended in the past is this has been a life changing experience for them," said Lanell Mantey, VBEC executive director. "They were struggling with how to be a leader, and ... this week gives them the tools that they feel confident when they go back to their campuses to make good choices."
The conference, which is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4-8 at Victoria College, aims to help kids looking to transition from junior high to high school learn traits like honesty, integrity, diligence and perseverance.
"Especially our shy kids - once they attend this, it's like a shell gets broken," she said.
The first day of activities will focus on dreams and goals and will feature a rock climbing wall, as well as guest speakers.
Day two is all about math and science, while day three is dedicated to hope. A dog trainer will reveal the importance of obedience, and another guest speaker will talk about transitioning from hardship to success.
The next day will feature servant leadership. After doing a community service project, the kids will have a giant water party.
On the final day, the conference will touch on the importance of manners, complete with a formal etiquette luncheon and an awards ceremony afterward.
A slew of students who attended the conference previously will return to be team leaders.
The conference is first-come, first-serve, until the 100 slots are filled up, Mantey said. About half of those slots are full.
To apply, each student must be nominated by teachers, administrators or clergy. Students are asked to write a paragraph explaining why they want to attend. Some write about friendship issues and others about problems at home, Mantey said.
"We always like to share with the kids what they wrote, and how they end up feeling at the end," she said.
The week, complete with meals, is $150 per student. But Pioneer Natural Resources, which is the main sponsor for the event, has agreed to cover $100 of that cost. Students who need help with the remaining $50 can apply for financial aid, Mantey said.