WHSAD Sophomore Emely Patino this past Spring Break was offered an extremely amazing opportunity to participate in a Service in Schools Leaders program in collaboration with the DOE. The program is essentially about taking students from various different backgrounds and helping them overcome many of their problems regarding public speaking in a direct way. The students in the program got to collaborate with one another and learn about how to use their voice to help in the community. Below, Emely gives insight into her experience with the program.
Q: How did you get to become a Service in Schools Leader?
A: So, Ms. Spaziani one day spoke to me and other groups of students during third period. She [Ms. Spaziani] wanted to tell us about the Leadership Institute. The program really interested me based on what Ms. Spaziani said, so I reached out to her and told her about my interest. She gave us a poster of information and told me how to apply online and where to go.
Q: What was the process of applying like? Was there an interview?
A: No, there was no interview. I simply applied online at the website that Ms. Spaziani provided. The application although did ask many questions that wanted to get to know and understand you better. First, it asked me about how I could help out my community and why. Then it asked for me my basic information, like credentials.
Q: What was it that initially intrigued you about the opportunity?
A: Once I did research on the opportunity I learned that it was there to help you learn about how to lead in your community or on a team. It also aimed to help get rid of shyness and build up courage, and help with public speaking skills.
Q: How do you think you can take what you learned in the leadership program and apply it to your school life or your life in general?
A: During spring break you do a project with the team and the end of the project you feel more positive and more comfortable with speaking and that some of the shyness that you had initially started with, is no longer there. The program really helps to take away a lot of your fears. It also helps with feeling more courageous and comfortable with public speaking.
Q: How long was the program for?
A: The program lasted for a week, but on May 16th I do have to return. I have to return to do another work day. Then on the 24th I have to go back again to teach a class of elementary school kids.
Q: So in a way it’s like using all of your acquired skills to accomplish a final goal?
A: Yes, because during spring break we created a lesson about what we learned. And then the people at the program gave us one more day to teach the students from various grades in elementary and middle school about how we can save the environment.