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Students gain planning, leadership skills

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High school students and teachers from across Manitoba recently attended the 2013 Manitoba Student Leadership Conference, which was organized by Sanford Collegiate students and held at the Southern Manitoba Conference Centre in Morris.

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High school students and teachers from across Manitoba recently attended the 2013 Manitoba Student Leadership Conference, which was organized by Sanford Collegiate students and held at the Southern Manitoba Conference Centre in Morris. Photo Store

It’s not often that high school students go back to school during summer break, but about 20 Sanford Collegiate students gave up some vacation time this past summer to help prepare for a rather important meeting.

Sanford Collegiate teacher and student advisor Anndrea O’Connor said these students, with the help of staff members, spent those summer days putting in hundreds of hours preparing to host the 2013 Manitoba Student Leadership Conference.

The annual conference, held on Oct. 8 and 9 at the Southern Manitoba Conference Centre in Morris, brought 150 high school students and 40 teacher advisors from across the province together to share ideas, provide support and motivate each other to prepare to take on leadership roles within their schools.

O’Connor said organizing the leadership conference was no different than organizing any other large conference, and the Sanford students took on all the tasks involved, from planning and leading workshops to designing T-shirts.

"They were onstage a bit," she said, adding that this forced some to go outside of their comfort zone a bit.

Sanford Collegiate student council member Sydney Hallick, from Starbuck, said organizing the conference was a valuable experience.

This was the first time she’d attended the annual event, and found having the chance to discuss ideas with her peers from other schools and listen to conference presenters to be very worthwhile.

"They made you think differently about being a leader," she said.

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