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June 10, 2014

Students design, run CFES symposium

ESSEX — Leadership training devised by students for students offered a tough challenge — to go beyond the norm and create a better life for themselves and others.

About 70 young people took part in the recent College for Every Student (CFES) summit, “Student Leaders Making Positive Changes, from Good to Great.”

CFCS scholars who attend Peru Central School spent three months planning and organizing the event. 

“The leadership summit provides an opportunity for students to share experience as young leaders,” Peru High School Principal Chris Mazzella said. 

“It allows all participants to step out of their comfort zones and expand their mindsets, which, in turn, helps each respective school to build upon their leadership initiatives and achieve goals.” 

The conference was held at CFES headquarters in Essex, with participants coming from Crown Point, Keene, Peru, Plattsburgh and Ticonderoga central schools. 

EMPOWERMENT

The scholars are all part of the Essex-based program, which targets low-income, under-served, first-generation students to help them prepare for, gain access to and succeed in college. 

“Leadership skills help students gain the self-confidence and resilience they need to not just get to college but to be successful there,” CFES President and CEO Rick Dalton said in a news release. 

“We believe in empowering our scholars and giving them the tools they need to take charge of their futures.”

GIVES A VOICE

Angel Turan, who plans to attend Pratt Utica and major in communications, animation and design, was one of the organizers. 

Her brother, she said, “told me flat-out to join (CFES),” she said. “It has helped me realize that I could go to college, as I had no plans before this. 

“The leadership and mentoring programs put me in a position to speak up and have a voice and become a leader and mentor.”

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