TAUNTON — Superintendent John Cabral and Principal Scott Holcomb are pleased to share that several Taunton High School students had the opportunity to attend the Light Foundation Youth Leadership Conference last week.
The Light Foundation Youth Leadership Conference hosted Massachusetts high school sophomores, juniors and seniors for a fun and challenging one-day learning opportunity outside the classroom on Thursday, May 26, at Bridgewater State University.
A total of 23 Taunton High School students were among students from Brockton, Canton and Scituate high schools chosen to attend the conference. Each Taunton High School student was recommended by a staff member to participate in the conference, and then those students had to submit an essay addressing several questions about leadership and wellness in order to be selected to attend.
The following Taunton High School students were invited to attend: sophomores Christian Ankrah, Christine Azor, Michaela Callahan, Condoleeza Dwuye, Chloe Fernandes, Zachary Gay, Ethan Harris, Joanna Labady, Bridget MacDougall, Braelyn Nichols, Jenna Pereira and Jose Touron; and juniors Sayla DePina, Sophie Hoye, Kayoni Jordan, Joey Kazlauskas, Peter Moor, Jakhai Nicholson, Caelen O’Leary, Jack Pawlowski, Xavier Sandoval, Conal Scully and Ava Venturelli. Also in attendance were Taunton High School teachers Caitlin Dermody, Jesse MacPhail and William McGarrigle who served as chaperones.
The conference began with opening remarks from former New England Patriot and 3x Super Bowl champion Matt Light, Light Foundation founder, and BSU President Fred Clark. Students then listened to a keynote speech from three-time Emmy Award-winning reporter and anchor at NBC10 Jackie Bruno. Bruno spoke about finding your passion and having the courage to work hard and keep going when faced with setbacks and adversity.
“The Light Leadership Conference was very enlightening not only because of the leadership skills I learned but because of the people I connected with from other schools. I also got to meet Jackie Bruno from NBC News, which was a highlight of my day. She is a great keynote speaker, and I am interested in writing and journalism,” said Dwuye.
Following Bruno’s speech, students participated in a breakout activity during which they worked with students from other schools to discuss the advantages and pitfalls of social media. After that students were rotated through three workshops including one that was run by TB12 trainers and taught students about some of the stretching and nutrition practiced in the TB12 Method. Another workshop was led by Light and focused on conversations about legacy and leaving your mark. The third workshop was run by the Executive Director of the BSU Wellness Center Dr. Chris Frazer and touched upon the difference between sympathy and empathy.
Following lunch, the conference ended with a keynote address from former D1 basketball player and musician Antoine Allen.
At the conference, Moor was one of four students conference-wide to receive a ‘game ball’ football as a recognition of his positive energy and enthusiasm exhibited throughout the day.
“The Light Leadership Conference was an excellent opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and work closely with students from other schools,” said Nichols. “The event incorporated many different aspects of leadership skills, social activities, intriguing speakers, and much more, all of which held my attention closely the whole time. It was truly the best conference I have been to!”
Added College and Career Counselor Jenifer Andrews, “We’re extremely pleased that our students had the opportunity to learn more about leadership and what qualities it takes to be a leader at the Light Leadership Conference last week. We look forward to our students sharing what they learned at the conference with their peers at Taunton High School and seeing the positive impact that the lessons they learned will have on our student body.”
BSU Director of Transportation and Taunton School Committee Member Dr. Greg DeMelo also stopped by to support the students and the event.