NEWELL—Newell School recently held its 12th Annual Leadership Day, a day dedicated to fostering leadership skills and promoting positive behaviors among students. The event, organized by the W.I.T. (Whatever It Takes) Coalition and Newell’s Youth Leadership Team, was a day filled with informative presentations and interactive sessions aimed at empowering the students to become leaders in their community.
The day started at 8:00 AM and featured various sessions led by experts in different fields. One of the sessions, titled “Resilient Today,” was conducted by Corey Kennedy, who shared insights on building resilience in the face of challenges. This session aimed to equip the students with the necessary tools to navigate through life’s difficulties and emerge stronger.
Another session focused on the “Science of Addiction,” was led by Bill Elger, a representative from the West River Prevention Resource Center. Elger discussed the dangers of addiction and educated the students about the impact it can have on individuals and communities alike. The session served as a reminder for students to make wise choices and stay away from harmful substances.
Representatives from the South Dakota National Guard, including its Alcohol and Drug Control Officer, Kristi “Cricket,” shared valuable insights into drug prevention strategies and emphasized the importance of staying informed and making responsible decisions. SD Highway Troopers Ryan Serr (Deputy) and Mason Ostenson also delivered a presentation on the current trends in Butte County.
In addition to these sessions, there were other workshops focusing on different aspects of leadership and wellness. Kara Uhrig, a wellness coach, conducted a session titled “Be Well: Wellness Coaching,” where she provided guidance on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making positive choices. Uhrig’s session encouraged students to prioritize their mental and physical well-being, as it plays a vital role in their overall lives along with their leadership development.
After lunch, all the groups came together for a special presentation led by Chuck Huston of BLM Law Enforcement. Huston brought his K-9 dog, Jack, and showed the kids how Jack would perform during real-life criminal situations such as a drug bust. Jack was a Belgian Malinois, which is one of the preferred breeds for his job alongside the German Shepherd.
The event was made possible by the support of several sponsors, including Black Hills Energy, the SD Department of Social Services Prevention Program, and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. These organizations recognize the importance of investing in the youth and creating opportunities for their personal and, in turn, leadership development.
The W.I.T. Coalition’s Leadership Day at Newell School was a resounding success, thanks to the hard work of Sabrina Harmon and the students of the Youth Leadership Team. The program provided students with valuable knowledge and skills that will serve them well in their future endeavors, and in turn improve the community in which we all live.