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23 teens graduate from the STAR Leadership Training Program

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several BGCSDC club members holding awards
Congratulations to the Fall 2018 STAR Leadership Training Program graduates!

Twenty-three local high school students graduated from the Students Taking Active Roles (STAR) Leadership Training Program on Thursday, December 13. STAR Leadership Training is a 65-hour leadership development curriculum that targets high school students and focuses on active citizenship, roles and responsibilities of civic engagement and understanding local government. The program connects youth to local leadership opportunities while giving them a voice to make a difference in their community, find ways to contribute their talent to a greater good and aspire to be life-long agents of social change.

Congratulations to the graduates including Olivia Bracewell, a sophomore at Pine View School; Caterina Cappelli, a sophomore at Riverview High School; Joshua Cappelli, a junior at Pine View School; Alexander Castanon, a sophomore at Booker High School; Conner Cooke, a freshman at Cardinal Mooney; Tyanna Denord, a junior at Sarasota High School; Jasmine Harper, a sophomore at Riverview High School; Michela Hazan, a freshman at Pine View School; Sophie Leereveld, a junior at Cardinal Mooney; Zoe Leereveld, a junior a Cardinal Mooney; Issac Lomnitz, a freshman at Sarasota High School; Avery Marx, a sophomore at Sarasota High School; William Moragne, a sophomore at Sarasota High School; Ezequiel Mori, a sophomore at Sarasota High School; Gabrielle Pedrotti, a junior at Pine View School; Clayton Pralle, a freshman at Sarasota High School; Kendall Roelh, a junior at Pine View School; Makayla Rosselot, a freshman at Riverview High School; Tanner Russell, a junior at Cardinal Mooney; Ella Schwab, a sophomore at Riverview High School; Ellie Winer, a junior at Pine View School; Sophie Winer, a sophomore at Pine View School; and Cooper Zingmond, a sophomore at Sarasota Military Academy.

The students participated in team-building exercises and problem-solving challenges, as well as, the unique opportunity to see inside the Sarasota County government offices and facilities. The training also included sessions with professional guest speakers, field trip days with County Commissioners and the Sarasota County School Board, as well as, tours of and presentations from the 911 Center and Sarasota County Jail.

The STAR Leadership Training Program class also adopted a service project, and focused on helping the environment.

"The students wanted to collaborate with a local school to instill in their peers the conviction that change starts with yourself first, and that any contribution can bear tremendous results," said Leen Alfatafta, Leadership Programs Specialist. "For that reason, the students partnered with Sarasota High School and its growing greenhouse garden initiative. The students managed to acquire a rain barrel as a donation for the school, and they built a compost bin from scratch. The STAR class is thrilled that Sarasota High School can incorporate these environmentally-conscious gardening features!"

At the end of the program, graduates continue their leadership development by serving as full-voting members of county or city advisory boards, on boards of directors for local nonprofits or on community-wide committees focused on social issues. Currently, more than 80 community board partners allow a STAR Leadership Training Program graduate to sit as a full-voting member on their board.

STAR Leadership Training is offered three times each year at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. Click here for more information, or contact Leen Alfatafta, Leadership Programs Specialist, at 941-217-5296 or .

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