On Wednesday, October 4th, Achievement House Student Ambassadors were invited to attend the first-ever Student Ambassador Summit at this year’s Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) Conference. The summit brought together student leaders from charter schools across the state of Pennsylvania to participate in team-building activities, listen to inspirational speakers, and share their experiences as student leaders. Five Achievement House Student Ambassadors attended the summit, including 11th graders Marisa Wise and Marek Manikowski. They both agree that the conference was a great opportunity for them and that they learned a great deal.
Marek said, “At the conference, I learned about different leadership skills and the importance of saying what you mean. I also learned that it is important to lead with your own thoughts instead of others.”
Multiple guest speakers addressed the students during the Student Ambassador Summit to emphasize that leadership is an important trait to possess.
Marisa said, “I learned that leadership is very important today, and it is important for leaders to be confident in themselves and others. Confidence is important in believing that you can succeed, build connections, and inspire others.”
They were also able to share with other students in attendance what it is like to attend a cyber school. Many different charter school students, varying in age and background, attended, providing the students with a great opportunity to learn about others’ life experiences.
Marisa said, “I spoke to two or three other students about Achievement House and what cyber school is like. Many of the other charter schools there were not cyber schools, so we shared our experience with them.”
The conference also offered a great opportunity for Marisa and Marek to meet their fellow Student Ambassadors and some AHCCS staff for the first time.
Marek said, “I usually see the Achievement House staff through a computer, so it was nice to meet them face to face and learn a little bit about them. It was also great meeting the other students and learning more about them. They were all nice.”
Aside from the Student Ambassador Summit, the PCPCS Conference featured various presentations for educators across the state, entertainment from student groups, and a vendor hall.
Marisa said, “I really enjoyed the vendor hall and all it had to offer. I liked seeing what careers people made from helping others and what they did at their organizations. I really enjoyed the entire conference.”
Both Marek and Marisa became Student Ambassadors when the program was first formed during the 2022-2023 school year. Achievement House’s Student Ambassadors are a group of student leaders who connect with newly enrolled students to help ease their transition into cyber school. They are paired with new students throughout the year and make themselves easily available to answer any questions their paired student may have. The Student Ambassador program provides current students with a hands-on leadership opportunity that imparts valuable life lessons. In the future, Marek and Marisa are both interested in teaching others how to lead in some capacity, so being a Student Ambassador helps them prepare for that.
Marek said, “Being a Student Ambassador makes me feel like a part of the school, and I really enjoy helping others.”
Both Marek and Marisa would be interested in attending, and possibly helping to plan, the Student Ambassador Summit at next year’s PCPCS Conference. Achievement House is grateful to the coalition for hosting and inviting our Student Ambassadors to be a part of this event.