More than 800 high school student leaders from throughout the county bonded and learned to step outside the box on Tuesday at the 2015 District IX Student Council fall conference at Chapin High School.
The event’s baseball theme “Sometimes it’s not bad to step out of the box” encouraged students to step outside the box by embracing their individuality to become more effective leaders on their respective campuses.
“Our students are here today to build on their leadership skills, so they can take those skills back to their home campuses and share their knowledge,” District IX President Advisor Kelley Akins said.
Keeping with the theme, former MLB pitcher Jeremy Bleich spoke to the students about overcoming hardship. He had suffered a major shoulder injury while playing for the New York Yankees. Bleich is currently signed with a Pittsburgh Pirates minor league team.
“What’s really important is leadership and staying positive. I wanted to focus on adversity in a positive light –how to be prepared for it and how to handle it,” Bleich said. “I’m super excited to be here and seeing all the kids’ enthusiasm. It’s a pleasure to be a part of this.”
The event kicked off with team building activities before each school shared their unique cheers during roll call.
“This is such a great atmosphere to be in. All of us are enjoying it,” Chapin senior Caitlyn Polloni said. “I really enjoy being part of student council and getting out in the community and help people.”
District IX spearheads several events throughout the year including a spring conference and two social events.
“We offer lots of opportunities for these young leaders to grow in their school and beyond,” Akins said. “I myself was part of student council when I was in school, and it made a great impact in my life.”