Freshmen Students Attend Empowerment Workshop

Freshmen Students Attend Empowerment Workshop
Posted on 10/16/2017
Freshmen Workshop ParticipantsIn late September, more than 100 Canastota High School freshmen boys and girls attended the second annual “Empowering Freshmen Workshop” at the Rusty Rail in Canastota. Spearheaded by Canastota High School teachers Kelley Brenon and Lisa Visalli, the workshop is a powerful forum that allows for discussion of the relevant issues facing our students today.

The workshop provided a safe place for open discussion. Topics for the freshmen girls included self-confidence, self- respect and self-esteem. The freshmen boys spoke about respect, teamwork, leadership and integrity. Guest speakers from the community, including Marcia Laidlaw, Deb New, Don New and Martha Barry, were on hand to discuss a number of issues pertaining to young students today. Current seniors, Crystal Miller, Amber Northrup and David Drummond also spoke candidly about their experiences to the group.

The New York State Police ended the day with a powerful presentation about social media to each group of students. Throughout the workshop, the students participated in team building activities. The day was both motivational and inspirational and a follow-up meeting is planned for November.

The plan for this workshop was developed two years ago after teachers reviewed a survey that was given to previous 9th graders. In the survey, the 9th graders were asked a series of questions ranging from “What they would change during their freshmen year” to “What advice would they give to the incoming freshmen.”

Assisting with the workshop were high school teachers, Dee Brennen and Elizabeth Garofalo along with Guidance Counselor Brandi Bostic. Facilitating the male portion were Principal Jay Altobello, Assistant Principal Stan Congden and teachers Josh Chenel, Sean Dwyer, John Slater and Guidance Counselor, Dylan Gifford.

FBLA members also helped at the event by preparing invitations, certificates and thank you notes. They also assembled the folders that were given to each student in attendance.