Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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April 5, 2010

Local Youth Attend Leadership Conference in Albany

YOUTH DELEGATION - Standing on the steps of the Legislative Office Building in Albany are first row, Monek Cullen and Greg Blasczienski, and in back, Jack Beckwith, Ashley Woodcock, and Valerie Edwin.

Four Oswego County youth were fortunate to attend a recent leadership conference in Albany. Monék Cullen of Oswego, Jack Beckwith of Hannibal, Gregory Blasczienski of Oswego, and Ashley Woodcock of Fulton traveled by bus with youth from Buffalo, Henrietta and other areas, and met with elected officials who represent Oswego County.

The trip was organized so that youth from around the state could meet each other, learn from leadership presentations, and have the chance to meet their elected officials and visit the capital. The youth attended leadership sessions on topics that ranged from Rachel's Challenge, a program inspired by a Columbine High School student to encourage kindness in schools, to service learning and solving social problems like hunger.

"I actually really enjoyed the leadership conference, it was very informative and exciting," said Cullen. In meetings with state elected officials, the youth spoke of the importance of programs such as Youth Court, Youth Advisory Council and Leadership Oswego County Youth. "The officials were really nice, and I'm glad that they actually were willing to keep helping out our Youth Bureau because it's not just good for us, it's good for our county," noted Cullen.

Valerie Edwin, VISTA volunteer who is serving with the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, chaperoned the Oswego County youth. "The trip was educational as well as enjoyable, because I got to see Albany in a new way and I also learned a lot about the kids' perspectives on programs like Youth Court," said Edwin.

The annual leadership event is sponsored by the Association of NYS Youth Bureaus.

"I have enjoyed taking youth to this event for several years", said Kathleen Fenlon, director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. "It always gives them a better understanding of how government works. Meeting other youth from across New York State and sharing the things they are involved in always inspires the students to come back and do something new in their own local community."

For more information on youth leadership opportunities, contact the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 315-349-3451 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3451.

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