By Alex Gonzales, Staff writer
This month two students of the Student Ambassadors club at GL are being honored by the Union County Student Training & Enrichment leadership conference. These two students are Kristen Santullo and Alex Gonzalez. They were part of the winning team whose program ‘Schools Supplying Schools’ will hep collect and donate school supplies to the lower income schools in Union County. The Student Ambassadors will help run this program from March to May.
UC STEP leadership conference is a full day program during which students from different high schools in Union County are given the opportunity to attend workshops focused on personal growth and leadership. The students who attend have the opportunity to participate in workshops such as “You be the Judge,” which focuses on crafting effective elevator speeches, and “How to be an Effective Leader,” which focuses on identifying the diversity, concerns and values of others.
The headline event of UC STEP, is the Civic Engagement Challenge. This brings students together to brainstorm and create a county-wide community service campaign to be enacted through the Freeholder Board in connection with Union County students. The school that shows the most involvement, enthusiasm, and creativity for the project is eligible to win a $1,000 grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. GL is one of those schools.
Guidance counselor Ms. Morin is the advisor for the Student Ambassadors . When asked about how the opportunity to go to the UC STEP program she said, “A letter was sent to all Union County high school principals. Mr. McKinney asked if Student Ambassadors wanted to attend. We attended last year, which was the first year ever for UC STEP.”
This was not the first time a student from the Student Ambassadors has won. Ms. Morin said, “Last year, 2014, Emily Herring was on the winning team Support 4 Soldiers.” Ms. Morin and the Student Ambassadors have the opportunity to bring the campaign ‘Schools Supplying Schools’ to GL. Ms. Morin stated, “I am very excited to get the community involved and hopefully win some more money and help Union County children.”.
One of the students who is representing Governor Livingston is Kristen Santullo. Kristen has been a part of the Student Ambassadors for three years now. When asked how she felt representing GL in the winning team, she said, “I think it’s a great way to represent GL through this unique program. UCSTEP is a civic engagement where different schools in Union county work with the Union County Freeholders to help a specific group in our community. This year our group chose to collect school supplies for those in need. I feel really strongly about the cause because everyone deserves an education and our collection will help relieve the stress on parents who cannot afford school supplies.” Kristen has participated in the conference both times the Student Ambassadors have attended. Kristen seemed excited to bring the program to GL saying, “I am thrilled to start the program ‘Schools Supplying Schools’ at GL because by collecting various items we will be providing school supplies to children locally in Union county and in Africa.”
The award ceremony for the winning team was held this past Tuesday during a freeholders meeting. The whole group of Student Ambassadors is excited to get working on the project. The Student Ambassadors will be running the program from March to May.