30 High School Students Graduate From Youth Leadership Program

Published 05.20.2014


Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted a ceremony on May 8 for graduates of its Youth Leadership Program, presenting certificates and announcing winners of the program’s Social Change Competition.

Thirty juniors from 10 secondary schools participated in the program throughout the school year. The program is “designed to educate and motivate (the students) to understand the needs of the community and take an active leadership role in addressing them.”

Thirty students representing 10 area secondary schools recently completed Penn College’s Youth Leadership program, designed to help students understand the needs of the community and take a leadership role in addressing them. In addition to activities on the Penn College campus, the experience included visits to a number of social service agencies, including the SPCA, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and American Rescue Workers, where the students lent a helping hand.

This is the fourth year that Penn College has facilitated the program, which was supervised by Elizabeth G. Verbos, manager of conference and guest services, and Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration.

Hughesville High School student Benjamin C. Nesselrodt, selected by fellow participants to speak at the program’s “graduation,” addresses participants and their families.As part of the Youth Leadership experience, each three-member school team is tasked with identifying a need in its community, developing a plan to address it, proposing the plan to judges and, if selected as one of the best proposals and given funding, implementing it.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour announced that $1,500 in funding – including a $500 infusion from the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania – was awarded to the top proposals.

Hughesville High School’s contingent – from left, Patrick R. Hiller, Megan E. Shaner and Nesselrodt – accepts a check from college President Davie Jane Gilmour to fund its Social Change Competition proposal to build the Little Spartan Science Center in the Ashkar Elementary courtyard. Hughesville High School: $800 for the Little Spartan Science Center – The students will make renovations to the Ashkar Elementary courtyard to make an outdoor classroom for the students. It will have science stations throughout the space, including a weather station, birdwatching, and interesting flowers and shrubs.

Gilmour presents a check to Montoursville Area High School’s Mackenzie C. Rodrigues, Amelia B. Deacon and Nick J. Lazorka for their Elementary Culture Day proposal.Montoursville Area High School: $500 for Elementary Culture Day – The students will facilitate a “culture day” in the gym, where high school students and community members will create and present projects about specific countries (including those where community members are from or have visited). Elementary students will be invited to tour the world, get their passports stamped, learn about the countries and try foods from the host nations.

South Williamsport High School’s Sydney C. Blosser, Abby C. Nevill and Carter D. Alexander accept a check from Gilmour for the plan for an Around the World Day.South Williamsport High School: $500 for Around the World Day – Similar to Montoursville’s project, the event will focus on the nations of current exchange students or the home nations of students who originally hailed from outside the U.S. International students from Penn College will also lend a hand to talk about their homelands.

The 2014 Youth Leadership graduates and their schools are:

Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration, help celebrate the graduates' success.Patrick Hiller, Benjamin Nesselrodt and Megan Shaner, Hughesville High School; Taylor Koch, Brook Rozenberg and Hannah Swartwood, Jersey Shore Area High School; Tommy Baggett, Miah Dunkleberger and Kaden Stensland, Loyalsock Township High School; Michael Alexander, Holly Leister and Makenzie Woltz, Montgomery Area High School; Amelia Deacon, Nick Lazorka and Mackenzie Rodrigues, Montoursville Area High School; Margaret Cooper, Allison Edwards and Kacie Smith, Muncy High School; Thomas Brenner, Tara Montis and Ryan Reid, Saint John Neumann Regional High School; Carter Alexander, Sydney Blosser and Abby Nevill, South Williamsport High School; Emily McMahon, Patrick Myers and Jaron Williams, Sullivan County High School; and Nathaniel Kendall, Claire Milliken and Gianna Zangara, Williamsport Area High School.

The Youth Leadership Program was supported by community members who mentored the students throughout the experience.

Each student was presented with a graduation certificate, commemorative book, group photo and the promise of a $2,000 annual scholarship if they attend Penn College.

For more about the college, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.