Oldenburg Academy students emerge as leaders in RISE program

Feb. 13—OLDENBURG — Thirty-eight Oldenburg Academy students recently participated in the transformative RISE Project: Lead from Where You Are program, immersing themselves in a day of dynamic leadership training and personal development.

Led by a team of dedicated community professionals, the Rise Project aims to equip high school students with effective ways to positively influence others.

Throughout the day-long program, students discussed the fundamental principles of leadership and took part in activities that underscored the importance of choices, character, and compassion in shaping their own lives and, subsequently, the communities in which they live.

"As the moderator for our Academy Ambassadors," Molly Freeland said, "it was exciting to observe our students engaging in meaningful conversations around the qualities of great leaders."

Gary Munchel, a lead facilitator of Project RISE, echoed Freeland's comments.

"Our facilitators were so excited to work with the students," he said. "We wanted to create a richly unique off-campus learning experience held at Jawacdah Farm. We found the OA students highly participative, enthusiastic, and very open to learning. As learning facilitators, we could not have asked for anything more."

And the student dialogue was, indeed, spirited. Senior Lexey Simmonds noted, "The conference was very enjoyable in part because of the engaging hands-on activities that encouraged deep reflections and interesting conversations."

Junior Santiago Schutte agreed that the conference offered a unique experience commenting that "it was informative while also being fun."

Overall, the program empowered students to take ownership of their personal growth and see themselves as compassionate leaders.

As these Oldenburg Academy students return to their classrooms and communities, they are poised to make a meaningful difference in the world around them.

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