Teen Symposium Celebrates 20 Years

Thursday, February 27, 2020

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Teen Symposium Celebrates 20 Years

Written by: Taylor Steinbach, Teen Symposium planning committee member

On February 24, nearly 200 local high school freshmen gathered to attend the 20th annual Teen Symposium, a leadership conference sponsored by United Way Fox Cities and the YMCA of the Fox Cities. Together, the students learned how to be leaders within their schools and the community. This year, the theme of the event was “Celebrating 20 Years.”
 
To start the day, freshmen listened to Carl “the energizer” Olson. Olson entertained students with a series of magic tricks, jokes, and songs—all while delivering the message that students need to focus on being their best selves rather than being “the best.” To emphasize this idea, Olson used the motto, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” Or, in other words, through hard work, you should always strive to be the best version of yourself.
 
Students were also given the opportunity to listen to Carlyn Andrew, Senior Director of Counseling and Training at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley, speak about stress and time management. Andrew explained to students that it is okay to seek help when needed and helped students to identify stressors in their own lives. In all, Andrew’s engaging presentation did a phenomenal job of making the students comfortable with themselves and the idea of receiving help. 
 
Additionally, freshman participated in mind and body activities hosted by the YMCA, talked to a teen panel, visited a career fair, played a variety of games, and learned hands-only CPR. Students were also given the chance to employ their leadership skills by completing a series of service projects. Together, freshmen completed over 1,300 service projects for local agencies and businesses. 
 
The 20th Teen Symposium was a huge success. Teens spent the day celebrating their leadership qualities and gaining the confidence to share them within the community. With the help of Teen Symposium, for two decades teen leaders have been given the chance to express their leadership abilities and have been encouraged to utilize them to make a difference. Here’s to 20 great years!