Hobart and William Smith students along with local high school students will participate in the HWS Leadership Institute begining Jan. 14. The Finger Lakes Times recently wrote about Geneva High School and DeSales High School students being included in the conference for the first time this year.
“I’m hoping it’s going to be a really, really neat experience,” the article quotes Geneva High School counselor Tim McSweeney. “I would expect that they would probably learn about themselves, develop leadership qualities that they currently possess and develop a nice interaction with their peers in a leadership-type setting.”
DeSales Principal Gerald Macaluso is quoted, “It’s an opportunity, and I firmly believe that these students will maximize this opportunity. I know these are great kids and I’m confident that they’re going to not only be able to acquire a great deal from these sessions, but also contribute.”
The full article follows.
Finger Lakes Times
High schoolers to hone leadership skills
Annual conference at HWS includes teens for first time
Heather Swanson • December 27, 2011
GENEVA – Geneva high schoolers will join Hobart and William Smith Colleges students at the annual Leadership Institute next month, the first time the city school district and DeSales High
School will participate.
The Centennial Center for Leadership will host the 2 1⁄2-day Leadership Institute starting Jan. 14. The event is open to students with all levels of leadership experience.
The incorporation of local high school students is “a milestone in the program’s development,” the Colleges stated in a press release. Participants will learn valuable skills “that will help to guide them through college and beyond.” Of the 81 students, 24 will come from high school.
“This is really going to elevate the program,” Leadership Fellow Jerry Wohletz said in the press release. “High school students have a different experience, perspective than our college students, and that will increase the diversity of the conversations, changing the conference for the better.”
Local students at each of the schools were encouraged by staff and faculty members to submit essay applications.
The HWS press release said Geneva High School counselor Tim McSweeney and DeSales Principal Gerald Macaluso urged students to participate, as did Mary Herlihy Gearan, who spoke with students in Interact about the importance of leadership and service.
“I’m hoping it’s going to be a really, really neat experience,” McSweeney said. “I would expect that they would probably learn about themselves, develop leadership qualities that they currently possess and develop a nice interaction with their peers in a leadership-type setting.”
Students selected to apply were those counselors felt would benefit from the program.
“We tried to get a cross section of students,” McSweeney said. “I’m very proud of the students that we have selected, and I’m looking forward to having them get a really great experience and I’m looking forward to hearing from them, those that participate, to get their feedback.”
At DeSales, students were chosen to apply based on extracurricular activities, academic marks and leadership abilities, Macaluso said. Macaluso believes DeSales participants will learn how to contribute to the community “in a larger sense.”
Seniors, he noted, will develop skills to help them in college, while underclassmen will bring those skills back to DeSales, he said.
“It’s an opportunity, and I firmly believe that these students will maximize this opportunity,” he said. “I know these are great kids and I’m confident that they’re going to not only be able to acquire a great deal from these sessions, but also contribute.”
The conference will include more than 30 speakers and interactive workshops.
“Each day will allow students to address different aspects of leadership through discussion and workshops, where participants will gather the skills necessary to communicate, transform ideas into actions and lead effectively,” the Colleges’ press release stated.
“I think it’s good for high school students to have older students to connect with, to have as resources. Our students really have something great to offer,” Wohletz added. “However, this conference is not about being an HWS student – or a high school student. We are learning about what leadership means together.”