Leadership La Porte County recently completed its 20th annual leadership training program with more than 40 local high school students participating from each school in La Porte County. This year, two home schooled students were also a part of the program. Four all-day sessions were held at different locations around the county---Purdue North Central, the La Porte County Complex, Red Mill County Park and Cummings Lodge. Facilitators for the seminars were Leadership Executive Director, Monica Komasinski, Jim Jessup, Mary Foell, Alliegra Hand and Dick Reel. Seven students from last year’s class served as student leaders. They were: Matt Bartels (LaPorte), Emily Wolfe (Westville), Elijah Davis (South Central), Elliott Sass (Marquette), Amanda Beutner (New Prairie), Justin Kiel (La Crosse) and Alejandro Miller (Michigan City).
The program was funded by a community grant from the Unity Foundation.
The students practiced leadership skills such as communication, problem solving, team-building, collaboration, and decision-making. At the opening session they did a personality assessment in order to better understand group dynamics and individual personality traits. At the County Complex the group toured the County Jail, heard from Sheriff John Boyd and Sonshine Troche of Worthy Women Recovery. They also interviewed a panel of offenders. The student leaders facilitated many discussions on current youth issues. The final session featured “graduation” speaker Gerrie Grott who spoke to the group on overcoming any odds to become a community leader. A panel of community leaders including Dion Campbell, Shannon Hannon, Andy Hynek and Carrie Campbell also held a question and answer session with students. They discussed their commitment to community service and the importance of getting involved. Each graduate received a certificate and a specially designed tee shirt. Next year’s student leaders were chosen. They are Olivia West (LaPorte), Mary Parkman (Westville), Brandon Claussen (South Central), Kenyatta Hodges-Hawkins (Marquette), Emily Albano (New Prairie), Zoe Yergler (La Crosse), Rodrigo Serrano (Michigan City) and Joshua Hugley (home school).
For more information about Leadership La Porte County or its youth programs, contact Executive Director, Monica Komasinski at 219-325-8223 or by email at email@example.com.