The iLead program at Watkins Glen High School has a penchant for pushing its students to become better citizens by throwing them into social situations that they might not be comfortable with – situations that frighten even adults. The Morning Mentors program was an opportunity such as this, where students hosted an event with business members of their local communities, showcasing what they had learned to that date in the class and forged the initial ties of a crucial network. As a student who participated in this event, it would become a vital building block for my future. The event introduced me into an adult, professional social setting that few young people my age have ever been exposed to. It helped to strengthen my social skills, putting me in a greater state of ease than I could have imagined for myself prior to the event. In the future, reflecting upon this experience will undoubtedly help me not only to feel more confident in myself, but will give me an edge in my familiarity with such professional settings.
Spark Conference 2017
The Chamber of Conference’s Spark Conference was designed to improve the leadership capabilities of those who attended. The two day conference had various sessions on topics in strength based leadership and success after failures, and was an invaluable experience that helped shape my person. By hearing from business veterans on topics that were crucial both to adults and to student life, the conference helped me to gain a furthered confidence in myself. On a personal basis, Arel Moodie’s panel on public speaking really made an impact on me. Mr. Moodie’s explanation that no one wants for another person to fail when they’re public speaking, and his steps of how to arrange a presentation felt crucial to me. As someone pursuing a field in journalism, having a strong presence in public speaking is something which I consider to be vital. In the future, I will be able to reflect back on Mr. Moodie’s presentation and apply the confidence which he helped to instill to me in subject interviews.
Syracuse University, Journalism Trip 2016
As someone possessing of a strong intention to become a journalist, taking a class in high school related to my passion isn’t just a great opportunity, it is an indescribable privilege. The Watkins Glen Journalism Class, and subsequent club, produces the high school’s paper, the Seneca Times. The greatest honor was bestowed upon me to take this class, which has been one of the most valuable experiences of my high school career. It would be obvious to say that this class has provided me with the beginnings of the technical skills I will need for journalism. Certainly, it has gradually eased me into becoming more familiar with the workings of certain design programs used to develop the layout for a printed paper, and it has helped me to understand the beginnings of what it takes to become a journalist. Being involved with the monthly publication has also embedded within me a sense dedication, and of the absolute importance of a deadline. As not only a content contributor for the paper (providing articles and, more recently, photographs) but as an editor, I have come face to face with the struggles that can develop when one member of a group has missed their deadline. So too have I learned the value of strong communication within a group, and as a member of the class and club I saw the importance of building strong connections in your team.
Elementary Swim Program
Volunteering has often been regarded as one of the most rewarding experiences of a person’s life. The Elementary Swim Program is a volunteer opportunity that Watkins Glen offers every year to its high school students, to assist younger children in learning to swim by providing help in the shallow end or, if applicable, to lifeguard. Volunteering for this program has taught me how to engage young minds towards the task and hand and to take an assertive leadership role. In the future, reflecting back on this experience not only with help me to understand how to lead varying groups, but I know I will be a more responsible person because of the experience.