By Jim Lambert
Several students in Union Catholic’s SUCCESS Program attended the Dare to Dream Student Leadership Conference on Friday at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.
The UC students who attended were Nick Shore, Bari Quinn,Gregory Katchko
Ben Korb, Liam Robb, Paola Antunez, Addison Montemayor, Daniel Cavill, Scott Kernan,
Alexander Cain, Elijah Abraham, Giulia Goggi, Joe Colamedicci, Natalie Colon, Angela Amaru, and Matthew Sierra. The UC Faculty members who attended were Mrs. Mary Eileen Fay and Ms. Ashley Whittemore, Mrs. Lisa Byrne.
The Dare to Dream High School Student Leadership Conference highlights strategies and information to prepare high school students for college and careers. The conference featured keynote presentations from accomplished students and young adults with disabilities who have demonstrated exemplary self-advocacy and leadership skills.
It also gave students the opportunity to participate in workshops led by their peers. Union Catholic hosted the morning breakout session and they worked together to organize the session into smaller groups and then the teams worked together to build towers using tape and straws. Each student in the group was assigned a disability to experience what it is like to have a disadvantage and the need to rely on others for help.
“This is our seventh year going to Dare to Dream and this conference helps UC students recognize that they can tap into their own unique strengths and use that to prepare for their future,’’ said Mrs. Fay, UC’s SUCCESS Leadership Program moderator and Academic Support teacher. “Each year the experience is different, but because the speakers are their peers I find the students are empowered by the talks and participating in the breakout sessions allows them to step out of their comfort zone in a safe supportive setting.’’