Juniors travel to UF for Young Leadership Conference


Alison Foley

Students participate in a group game at YLC.

In another first for TLC members, a few recently traveled to University of Florida to attend the Young Leadership Conference from February 7-9. The point of YLC is to teach different leadership skills to high school students involved heavily with their school. It also teaches students different mechanism for dealing with issues a leader may face in certain situations. Juniors Olivia Joseph, Siobhan Lynch and Alison Foley were among students from all over Florida. They were each split up into different small groups and mentored by UF students. The days were full of small group activities, large group activities and games.

As soon as the girls arrived, they were immersed into the upbeat environment of the conference. Motivational speaker Layman Hicks talked to the students on Friday about how they can achieve anything they want through hard work.

The plan for Saturday was for the girls to travel to Lake Wauberg, but due to the rainy weather, other plans had to be made. The staff of Lake Wauberg came to UF and brought with them valuable team building exercises. At night, the students heard different inspirational stories from their counselors and held an emotional candle lighting ceremony. The night ended with the kids dancing the night away.

A helpful panel of college students answered all of the students’ worries about college and the process. The weekend came to an end with a sentimental brunch.

Overall, YLC was a once in a life time learning experience for the juniors from Academy. The theme song for the weekend was “The Man” by Aloe Blacc. The purpose of the song was to remind the students that they can do anything they want.

Junior Siobhan Lynch learned that, “you cannot judge a person as soon as you meet them, because you have no idea who they are or what they have been through.”

The juniors bought back with them vital skills that they will use when they become the leaders of TLC next year, such as new ice breakers and songs they learned during their TLC circle. This would be a good conference not only for girls in TLC but ones looking to gain valuable leadership skills.