Offering student leadership opportunities fosters self-confidence and cultivates essential life skills. High school students at AHCCS, including 11th grader Marisa Wise, have become visionary leaders in the digital age, using their tech skills and adaptability to shape the future of education and more.
Marisa, known for her leadership abilities, was invited to the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference this year. A Rotary Club member encouraged Marisa to apply, and her application was reviewed and approved, leading to her selection as an attendee. Marisa is also a competitive swimmer and runner. She was excited and honored to be chosen since she has never attended a leadership conference.
She said, “I know that leadership is an important quality to have in today’s world. I wanted for improvement.”
The conference brought together seventy youth leaders from across the state of Pennsylvania for five days. The attendees were split into groups based on area of interest. Marisa was placed in the art group and participated in numerous group activities and team building exercises. For example, the team dynamics session highlighted what roles people play in situations. The conference also included discussions about controversial current topics and fun activities such as square dancing, which Marisa enjoyed immensely.
She stated, “I would say the biggest takeaway that I received from the conference was definitely how important it is to know how to work as a team with people you do not know.”
This concept of teamwork was reinforced through group activities where attendees who had never met before had to learn to work together. This lesson is something Marisa will use personally and professionally for the rest of her life. Another significant lesson learned was the importance of respecting other people’s opinions, even if you do not agree, and how to react to certain situations.
When reflecting on her favorite aspects of her experience, Marisa explained that she enjoyed both the first and last day of the conference the most. “The first day was a really nice introduction day and I also loved the last day because my group that I worked with throughout the whole experience got to share our team project.”
Marisa began attending Achievement House Cyber Charter School last year. She is amazed at the benefits of a cyber school education such as succeeding academically while swimming competitively. Marisa has many hobbies including art, reading, writing, nature, and anything that keeps her body active. She is also currently an AHCCS Student Ambassador and is planning to become a member of AHCCS’s National Honor Society. In the future, Marisa hopes to either to have a career as a sustainability engineer or work in the astronomy field. She also hopes to travel abroad in the future.