This August, Starr partnered once again with Albion College to host the 2016 Student Leadership Symposium. Started in 2013 with the merging of the Albion and Marshall high schools, this event is designed to bring the students from both areas together in an effort to help them work collectively, build relationships, and foster a positive peer climate for the upcoming school year.
Open to middle school students in grades 6-8, this year’s symposium focused around the idea of “Oneness” and “Implicit Bias”. With over 50 attendees, our hope was to teach these students that once we recognize our biases, we are able to effectively create a more diverse and inclusive world. This lesson will help them throughout high school and into college.
Students participated in problem solving and group learning activities, as well as recreational endeavors to help build friendships. There was also a segment of the day dedicated to learning the history of Marshall and Albion, as well as Starr Commonwealth and Albion College, where the day’s activities were held.
Several of the events were led by students who had experienced the Youth Symposium in previous years. These students, now high school seniors and college freshmen, understood the need for future generations to learn to coexist peacefully, and worked to bridge the gaps they saw between students from different communities.
The Youth Symposium is our way of connecting with local communities and helping the students there grow into understanding adults, and we hope to keep this annual event going in the future.