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PSHS students selected to attend leadership conference

February 26, 2020
The Town Crier

"I think it's really important that us, as a younger generation come together and help make a difference," said Madison Wess, a junior at Poland Seminary High School.

Wess and her classmate, Sophia Sainato, who is also a junior at PSHS, are attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Conference in February. It's based on a program initiated by Rotary International.

According to Rotary International, the purpose of the program is to "identify young people who have demonstrated leadership skills or show the potential to be leaders and give them an opportunity to explore and develop those skills with others with similar capabilities."

Article Photos

Sophia Sainato and Madison Wess, PSHS juniors attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Conference

"I like being involved because I have a voice and I want to see where my voice can take things that I would like to see change in," said Sainato. "I think that for us young people to get involved is really important, as we become adults to find our voice and use it to make impacts around us."

Wess and Sainato are involved in PSHS Interact Club. Sainato is the president, Wess is the Treasurer.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Conference is in Warren. Nearly four dozen Rotary Clubs throughout District 6650 are attending the conference, which is in its 26th year.

Both students wrote essays about how they viewed themselves as leaders as part of the application process. Juniors in Interact were able to apply for the conference, eight showed interest.

"I like to make everyone feel comfortable sharing their ideas, and making a safe place so everyone else can be leaders," said Wess. "I feel like leadership is really about everyone else, not just me."

Sainato wants to learn about communication skills and bring it back to PSHS.

"I feel nowadays, communication is so blocked and no one knows exactly how to communicate with people with different opinions," she said. "I feel if I learn how to do something like that, I can share that with my friends and peers."

Conference fees are being covered by Poland Rotary and an internal donor from Poland Rotary.



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