LYS 2015 Delegate Naomi Westbrook is the 2015-16 Destrehan High School columnist for the NOLA.com|Times-Picayune. Read the column she wrote about her time at seminar and see the rest of her articles at NOLA.com.
This summer, five Destrehan High School student council officers were invited to attend a weeklong summer leadership camp for high school students called Louisiana Youth Seminar.
I was a part of the group that attended the seminar.
We all agreed that LYS gave us a more enthused outlook on the importance of leadership. Reagan Pfister, Sarah Gauthier, and Nyla Moore hold positions for the Destrehan High School student council executive board. Faith Ryan and I represent the senior class at Destrehan as vice-president and president.
Through various activities and involvement sessions, we delegates were able to learn more about ourselves and focus on leadership development. We were given tasks that allowed us to build up communication, problem solving, and goal setting skills. Many of these activities require working as a team, therefore enforcing the importance of teamwork in each delegate.
We also learned more about the political process by being split up into two political parties. Within these parties, we learned how to write and deliver speeches, run for office, and develop campaign strategies. I was elected by my LYS party to represent them in the general elections as their vice president.
I was honored and humbled to have made it as far as I did during elections. I learned so much about myself, and I credit all the confidence it took me to run to everyone at LYS. Everyone was so supportive, and that inspired me to show the same level of support to those in my community when I came home.
Throughout the week at LYS, the Destrehan delegates accumulated a number of awards. Reagan and Faith were awarded Most Outstanding Members from their respective homegroups. Faith and I were both selected as the chairperson for our individual homegroups. Reagan, Faith, Nyla, and Sarah were all part of homegroups selected as Group of the Day throughout the week. I was a member of LYS's Group of the Week.
Reagan Pfister, DHS Executive Board President, was humbled by her experience at LYS and was thankful for the great learning opportunity.
DHS Executive Board Vice President, Sarah Gauthier, said that she was taught that it's the little things that matter, and she plans to bring the positive energy from LYS to Destrehan.
LYS taught DHS Executive Board Treasurer, Nyla Moore, to open up more to new people and not to be shy when leadership is needed in any situation.
To DHS senior class vice-president, Faith Ryan, LYS was a place where she felt like she could be herself. She learned a lot and was challenged to step out of her comfort zone. Faith said it was an experience like no other, and she would go back in a heartbeat.
Although the Destrehan High School delegates each had unique experiences, we all came back to school in August with improved leadership skills, ready to make this new school year amazing, not only for ourselves or student council, but for the entire DHS community. For more information on LYS, go to www.louisianayouthseminar.org.