By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Six Tucumcari Middle School students developed and enhanced their leadership skills at the Junior National Young Leadership Conference held during June and July in Washington D.C.
Their seventh grade math teacher, Bobbie Sandoval, nominated the six students who attended different session dates of the conference.
“Through the conference activities, we learned methods of teamwork and communication and how the two play a vital role in leadership,” said Britini Brockman.
Another student, Elijah Olivas, said, “We met new people and worked with them during projects which focused on helping us become better leaders.”
Adrianna Sandoval, another Tucumcari student who attended, said, “There were students from across the country who attended this conference. It was a real experience to work with people from different backgrounds.”
Sandoval said the students were broken up into groups for one workshop and given the task to develop an organization that they would want to create and promote.
Brockman said the groups ranged from green initiative corporations to outreach programs.
“Once our groups had developed their organizations and defined their purposes and functions, we had to present the idea to a small committee,” said Ethan Rogers.
Rogers said the committee then asked each group a series of questions about how that group would function and what benefits the group would offer to the community or communities they would serve.
Sandoval said the trip also included some sight-seeing at national monuments and museums, where they learned about the accomplishments and examples of leadership from leaders of the past.
According to the organization’s website, the conference used hands-on exercises and workshops to empower the youths to become leaders themselves. The program centers on a view of leadership through a practical, every day lens, incorporating a detailed examination of leadership traits, and focuses on leaders in American history and social advocacy.
Sandoval said she learned to be more self-confident, and that, she said, improved her communication skills.
Rogers said the conference helped him to better use his skills and changed his views about leadership.
“We all learned to be better leaders we need to stand for what we believe in no matter what the consequences,” Olivas said.
Each student raised money and received donations from various organizations to pay for the cost of the conference which was $2,000 per student. Each student also had to cover the cost of their airfare to and from the conference.