Students attend youth seminar _lowres

Photo provided by Carley Wahlborg -- West Feliciana High School seniors, from left, Zoe Williamson, Catherine McKinney and Maggie Higgins represented St. Francisville when they attended the 2015 Leadership Youth Seminar held at LSU in July.

Three West Feliciana High School seniors were among 314 students who participated in the Louisiana Youth Seminar on the LSU campus.

Maggie Higgins, Catherine McKinney and Zoe Williamson spent July 19-24 in their respective small groups while participating in breakout sessions and other activities that focused on developing leadership skills.

Delegates were encouraged to challenge their comfort zone, build relationships with other students from across the state and gain confidence in their own leadership style, said Program Director Carley Wahlborg.

“I owe it all to LYS. Without this program, I would have never discovered my true self and wouldn’t have become the person I am today,” said McKinney, who was chosen as an Outstanding Group Member of the Week.

The seminar welcomed Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne as the guest speaker of “Louisiana: A Dream State,” a presentation highlighting the state’s unique citizens, cultures and traditions.

State Rep. Ted James, one of the youngest state legislators, talked about leadership and getting involved in the political process.

Established in 1971 as a weeklong leadership camp for high school students, LYS focuses on leadership development through effective communication skills, team building, problem solving and goal setting, while also learning how to write and deliver speeches, run for office and lead parliamentary procedure, Wahlborg said.

The program is organized and led by young professionals and college-student volunteers.