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Impressive Projects Funded at Youth Leadership Graduation

Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted a ceremony May 7 for graduates of its annual Youth Leadership Program, announcing winners of the program’s Social Change Competition.

Thirty-three juniors from 11 secondary schools participated throughout the year in the program, which is designed to educate and motivate them to understand community needs and take an active leadership role in addressing them.

The 2015 graduating class of Penn College’s Youth Leadership Program assembles on the stairs of the Student & Administrative Services Center.
The 2015 graduating class of Penn College’s Youth Leadership Program assembles on the stairs of the college’s Student & Administrative Services Center.

This is the fifth year that Penn College has facilitated the program, which was supervised by Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration, and Shelley L. Moore, assistant director of career services.

As part of the Youth Leadership experience, each three-member school team is challenged to identify a need in its community, develop a plan to address it, propose that plan to judges and, if funded as one of the top proposals, implement it.

This year’s awardees:

St. John Neumann Regional Academy
St. John Neumann Regional Academy

St. John Neumann Regional Academy: $900 for a Self-Defense and Bystander Awareness Training Workshop for their peers – The students were distressed by national statistics indicating that 1 in 4 college women report being victims of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault. The workshop, which will be open to 30 students from St. John Neumann’s high school campus, will cover self-defense tactics to bolster student confidence and feelings of security, as well as bystander awareness training. Bystander awareness is the belief that individuals have the ability to confront concerning or inappropriate behaviors by their peers. The training for students will focus on the threat of date-rape drugs, impacts of alcohol and how to safely intervene if one witnesses concerning behaviors aimed at a peer.

The Neumann team only requested $450 for its project, but the judges recognized that the topic is vital to all high school students in the area and were genuinely moved by the students’ presentation, personal anecdotes and concerns regarding sexual assault and harassment. As a result, each judge personally donated funds to double the award amount, with the expectation that the team will offer a second workshop open to any high school student in Lycoming or Sullivan County.

Loyalsock Township High School
Loyalsock Township High School

Loyalsock Township High School: fully funded at $500 for a Commemorative Veterans Memorial at a local park – The planned memorial will consist of eight flags (U.S., Pennsylvania, Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and POW/MIA) surrounding a black granite plaque inscribed: “This plaque is in honor of the men and women who serve and protect our country. For your bravery, hard work and dedication, we thank you.” The judges commented on the strong connection and respect for veterans that was evident in the students’ presentation. Prior to judging at Penn College, the group received donations exceeding $2,000 toward the project from local veterans organizations.

Sullivan County High School
Sullivan County High School

Sullivan County High School: fully funded at $300 for a one-day “Secrets of Science” program for elementary students – The program, which will take place during the school day and has already been approved by the elementary school principal, will allow students to take part in activities focused around various science subjects, including agriculture, forestry, pollution, natural resources conservation, the weather and biology. The aim is to excite students about science as a future interest and/or career. Numerous agencies throughout Sullivan County, including Penn State Extension, Sullivan County Conservation District and Susquehanna Beekeepers Association, have already committed to presenting on their respective topics during the event.

Jersey Shore Area High School
Jersey Shore Area High School

Jersey Shore Area High School, partially funded at $250 – “Safety 4 Shore” is aimed at providing cosmetic and safety upgrades to the Jersey Shore Community Pool. In particular, the students sought funds to purchase walkie-talkies and rescue tubes for the lifeguards, to replace dilapidated fencing around the pool’s pump, and to purchase more seating for patrons. While the funds awarded can’t cover all the costs of their plan, the students will be able to use the money to focus on safety improvements at the pool.

The 2015 Youth Leadership graduates and their schools are:

One of the judges for the Social Change Competition, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour discusses participants' commendable community involvement.
One of the judges for the Social Change Competition, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour discusses participants’ commendable community involvement.

Emily A. Eck, Marilee P. Getgen and Jarett W. Dorman, Hughesville High School; Hailey A. Koch, Madalyn N. Charnego and Hadyn L. Swartwood, Jersey Shore Area High School; Micah B. Beiter, Aaron J. Robbins and Hayli M. Springer, Loyalsock Township High School; Julia B. Garverick, Levi O. Horn and Morgan D. Myers, Lycoming Career and Technology Center; Sammi M. Harer, Dylan J. Gordon and Jeffrey A. Lowmaster, Montgomery Area High School; Michael A. Forney, Alexandra R. Klementovich and Audrey E. Kreitz, Montoursville Area High School; Cameron I. Good, Jesse L. Page and Olivia L. Wetherhold, Muncy Jr./Sr. High School; Leland E.H. Barclay, Olivia R. Pierce and Andrew J. Roman, St. John Neumann Regional Academy High School; Alyviah D. Martin, Scott F. Bennardi and Dominick L. Threeton, South Williamsport Jr./Sr. High School; Takyra C. Kleinsmith, Carli M. King and Torie J. Shultz, Sullivan County High School; and Olivia M. Lopatofsky, Lybi N. Westover and Frank A. Rose, Williamsport Area High School.

Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration, with Shelley L. Moore, assistant director of career services, presides over the evening's program.
Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration, with Shelley L. Moore, assistant director of career services, presides over the evening’s program.

Judges for the Social Change Competition were Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; William J. Martin, senior vice president; Jennifer D. Wilson, president and CEO of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania; and Andrée P. Phillips, owner of Radiant Steel Products Co.

For information about Penn College, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Graduation banquet photos by Caleb G. Schirmer, student photographer

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