Area students hear about leadership, success strategies

QUEENSBURY - A total of 200 students chosen from 23 area schools heard about success strategies at a leadership conference held Feb. 4 at the Great Escape Lodge. Hosted by the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES, the students represented schools from Northern Warren and southern Hamilton counties. During the day-long event, they participated in workshops and activities led by motivational speaker and mountain climber John Beede.

The author of "Climb On: Success Strategies for Teens," Beede sought to inspire the students to take on leadership roles in their schools and community. He spoke about selecting goals, making a plan to accomplish those goals and then taking the steps to follow through. Beede then led the students through exercises intended to sharpen their ability to achieve their aims.

The students attending included those from Bolton Central, North Warren, Warrensburg Central, Indian Lake and Minerva Central and the three area BOCES centers. The students were selected by their teachers and guidance counselors to participate.

Renee Peattie, a guidance counselor at the BOCES Alternative High, said the selection is often a surprise to the students. Many don't consider themselves leaders, she said.

"It's not about being the most popular or outgoing," Peattie said. "We identify students that have the potential to be leaders and those who will bring these skills back to school."

Elizabeth Jones, a health occupations student at BOCES Southern Adirondack Education Center, said she was thrilled to be part of the conference.

"It pushes you to reach your potential," said Elizabeth, who was one of 28 students who planned the event with BOCES personnel. "We are hearing things we need to hear, like believe in yourself - It's fun too."

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