Learning to be Leaders

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teen Symposium 2017

Contributor: Sadie Tourville, United Way Fox Cities Youth Board Member

Last Tuesday, United Way Fox Cities and the YMCA of the Fox Cities sponsored the 17th annual Teen Symposium. The event encourages freshmen from local schools to become effective leaders. This year, the message was all about embracing your uniqueness and having confidence in yourself.

There were two speakers that really stressed the importance of this message. The morning keynote speaker sponsored by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, was EJ Carrion. EJ is an author and youth speaker who encourages kids to “make the jump into who you are,” because figuring out who you are and what you want out of life is the beginning to a successful future.

The other speaker, Mary Simonis, a.k.a. the Resilient Redhead, talked about how it’s important that no matter what you do in life, you always know who you are and how once you figure out and embrace who you are, you’ll feel better. She also spoke about how important it is to always keep in mind what you like about you, because those are the characteristics that will get you far and other people will appreciate about you too.

Along with these engaging speakers, the day included wellness activities coordinated by the Y, encouraging kids to be more active and lead healthy lifestyles. There was a resource fair, organized with help from the Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin. The resource fair featured different organizations from the area, showing kids how to get involved in their community.

All in all, Teen Symposium 2017 was a lively, informational event that left 300 teens with some great advice, resources, and memories.