Teens Learn about Leadership at JA Symposium

Students were chosen by guidance counselors to go on the trip.

photo by Audrey Ehrman

Students were chosen by guidance counselors to go on the trip.

By Logan Garvey, Editor-in-Chief

  Students got a slice of life at the annual JA Symposium on Wednesday, April 6 at the Wyndham in West York by learning how to be independent women instead of following the crowd.

  Junior Brittany Brenneman, sophomore Sasha Epps, sophomore Stevie King, sophomore Diana Sanchez, sophomore Samantha Patterson and junior Destiny Rositzky were those who had a chance to take part in this program. The event is run by Junior Achievement, an organization statewide that prepares students K-12 for the workforce by educating them about entrepreneurship and financial literacy.  

  This same mindset was applied to the symposium by teaching girls about leadership through different speakers and icebreaker activities like Zumba.

Students were able to talk with influential women in the community.
Photo by Sasha Epps
Students were able to talk with influential women in the community.

  Sophomore Sasha Epps enjoyed Zumba and the guest speaker the most.

  “We did Zumba…that was fun, but I also enjoyed the guest speaker,” said Epps. “She had some really good messages… [she talked about] how to empower yourself and stay true to yourself… [she said] there’s no point in sitting around and letting people get you down.”

  Junior Destiny Rositzky saw the trip as a good opportunity to learn more about her career field.

  “I wanted to go on [the trip] because I thought it was going to be a good opportunity to see other people talk about their careers,” said Rositzky. “I assumed there was going to be a nurse there because that’s what I want to be and there was. I just figured that it would be a nice thing to [go to in order to] transition into the career talks.”

  Throughout the day, students had a change to switch between different rooms to hear different speakers talk about how they became successful. They also were assigned to different tables where they were put with mentors who are influential people in the community.

  Guidance counselor Audrey Ehrman hopes that the girls who went on the trip will keep in contact with their mentors.

  “I hope they took something away from the different speakers, especially about budgeting, finance and social media and some of those independent skills we can all benefit from hearing about,” said Ehrman. “I also hope they stay in touch with their mentors. They could be such a help in advancing them in the workplace.”

  Epps had the chance to sit with York’s Mayor Kim Bracey and have her as a mentor.

  This was just one part of the day that Epps enjoyed.

  “I enjoyed it and wish I could do it again, and I would go back next year if I could,” said Epps. “There were so many great people there. I got to sit with the mayor, and she was pretty top notch so I just loved it. It was great.”

The mayor and Epps pose for a picture together.
Photo by Sasha Epps
The mayor and Epps pose for a picture together.

  Epps was attentive to remembering what the overall message of the day was.

  “[The overall message was] to just stay true to yourself and not let anyone control you. It doesn’t matter what kind of path that you’re on as long as you know what you’re gonna do in your life,” said Epps. “No guy can control you and tell you what to do, and there’s no such thing as a guy job because we can do exactly what they do.”

  After being a part of this trip, the students who went now have a better understanding of what it means to be successful in their careers.