Student Leadership Committee makes a difference

Once a month, student leaders from across the region gather at a local high school or at the Copper Country ISD to collaborate on different projects. They are members of the Student Leadership Committee (SLC), a long-standing committee of high school students dedicated to developing their leadership skills and making a difference in their communities.

The seeds of the SLC were planted in the early 1980s with CCISD sponsored Student Leadership Forums and Student Government Training Academies. In 1992, with a small amount of funding from the Michigan Department of Education, student leadership teams from local high schools received leadership training throughout the school year in order to better equip them for the leadership positions they held in their buildings. The current SLC structure evolved from that project. The purpose of the Student Leadership Committee (SLC) is to provide opportunities for high school leaders to meet and address school issues collaboratively, complete community service activities and to build leadership skills. High school administration and counselors choose representatives for their buildings. All nine high schools are encouraged to participate and for the 2016-17 school year, all districts have representatives participating.

Every year in the fall, SLC hosts a Student Senate Forum, which is designed to bring Student governments from the area high schools together to exchange information and ideas. Every spring, SLC organizes a Student Exchange Day, which allows high school students to visit a different high school for the day. The exchange students provide feedback to the host high school on their experience, enabling the host high schools to focus on potential systems improvement.

Every other year, with the help from through the Keweenaw Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council grant funds, SLC hosts a student leadership conference, inviting students from area high schools to a day of learning and introspection designed to hone leadership skills. On the off-conference years, SLC, again with financial assistance from the Keweenaw Community Foundation Youth Endowment Fund, has sponsored a large, area-wide service project to raise funds for a local charity. For the past three service projects, SLC has organized and hosted a Talent Show fundraiser at the Calumet Theater, show casing local youth from Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw county areas.

In 2013 and 2015, Simple Kindness for Youth (SKY) was the beneficiary of the proceeds and SLC raised over $2300 for SKY with the past two events. (SKY provides grants to K-12 youth in our community for a variety of needs). This year’s event, again benefitting SKY, will take place at the Calumet Theater on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m.

The Student Leadership Committee is a unique opportunity for high school students to further their leadership skills and has provided wonderful experiences for hundreds of students across the Copper Country. Collaboration and cooperation between the local schools has always been an important part of the Copper Country ISD’s mission.

The Student Leadership Committee is a great example of this collaboration and cooperation that has benefitted not only our local schools, but the community as well.

George Stockero Jr. is the superintendent for the Copper Country Intermediate School District.