Twenty-four Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School students and five MJHS graduates who are current sophomores at Central High school attended the Academy of Character Education’s Youth Leader Summit at the Sage Colleges. The group consisted of seventh- through tenth-graders – some of whom were selected based on teacher recommendations, and others who participate in the “Breakfast Club” informational program.
The Summit provided students with the opportunity to attend workshops on a variety of topics including, “Finding Your Personal Strength,” “Suicide Prevention,” “Mindset – Change Your Attitude, Change the World,” “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Sexual Orientation” and “Mindful Self-Management”.
Two guest speakers were the highlights of day. Presenter Kati Preston recounted her moving ordeal as a Holocaust survivor in the “Power of One” session, where she shared heartfelt inspiration with the audience. Dr. Stephen Birchak provided an entertaining and insightful look at celebrating individuality during his focus on “The 3 Keys to Character: Promote Peace and Reduce Bullying in Your School.” He encouraged students to embrace their choices and their ability to be independent of other’s judgments, noting that they can make a difference in other’s lives.
The Valley Stream participants have a very strong commitment to creating a positive environment at their schools. The MJHS students are involved in various character-building initiatives, such as Diversity Week, throughout the year.
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