The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 7, 2012

Seminar to stress leadership

Kelly Urban
kurban@tribdem.com

— If you want to find tomorrow’s leaders, look to today’s high school students.

In an effort to foster leadership potential in area youth, The Tribune-Democrat, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and AmeriCorps-Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps have formed a partnership to host a leadership seminar Wednesday at the Heritage Discovery Center.

The goal is to help high school students become better problem-solvers, innovators, collaborators and communicators, all while brainstorming ideas on what they can do to better the community.

“Students in the area typically get together in competition,

but they rarely come together to rally around a cause and talk about ideas they have and what changes they’d like to see for the future,” said Angie Berzonski,

program and communications officer with the Community Foundation.

“The students coming aren’t necessarily the straight-A students, but those who have leadership potential and whose voices we should be hearing.”

Thirteen high schools from Cambria and Somerset counties will be represented.

Each school will send one senior, four juniors and four sophomores.

Business and community leaders will serve as facilitators and work in groups with the students.

They will have discussions on a variety of topics such as addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the community, what leadership opportunities are available in the area, whether racial or ethnic tensions exist in the community, what is the ideal work environment and whether the Johns-town area is keeping up with advances in technology.

“At the end, the students will present what they’ve found,” Berzonski said.

All of the notes will then be compiled, and the plan is to give the data to community leaders such as members of Johnstown City Council and county commissioners.

“We want students to understand that there are other

kids like them out there who have the same concerns,” Berzonski said.

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