Andrew Marotta, the Port Jervis High School principal, told his audience of high school students about the effectiveness of telling stories when communicating with people .
He also told them what he believes are the top 10 things students need to do to be successful.
“Today I’m going to talk about taking action," he said second annual Emerging Leaders Youth Conference for sophomore, junior and senior students throughout Orange County. "Today you might get a job, something might happen that will change your career because you took the courage to come and be here and get out of your comfort zone. Your interactions matter with other people, and you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Accelerator, a New York State incubator focused on bringing manufacturing back to the mid-Hudson Valley, recently partnered with the Orange County Youth Bureau to host the conference. Powered by the Orange County Industrial Development Agency, the Accelerator is a regional economic development team that focuses on start-up businesses. The Nov. 20 event included sessions on leadership, professional communications in the modern age, resources and resumes, and mock interview sessions.
Approximately 145 students from across the county attended the conference, which was held at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor. The students represented 15 Orange County high schools, including: S.S. Seward, Warwick Valley, Marlboro, Middletown, Orange-Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Education Program, Port Jervis, Valley Central, James I. O’Neill, Monroe-Woodbury, Newburgh Free Academy West Campus, Newburgh Free Academy, Pine Bush, Goshen, George F. Baker in Tuxedo and Cornwall.
“We are very pleased with this year’s turnout,” said Laurie Villasuso, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of the Orange County IDA. “Our youth is one of the most valuable assets we have, and we want them to be able to thrive right here in Orange County. This event allowed us to equip high school students with the tools and resources that are necessary to help them become successful collegiate students and young professionals.”
Students and teachers in attendance remarked on the event’s success.
“What they learn here today they can bring back to their classrooms,” said Dennis Maher, who teaches English at Newburgh Free Academy West. “Events like these are really great for students to get more experience outside the classroom.”
“I’m excited to be here,” said Alyssa Kamara, a senior at Monroe-Woodbury High School who is hoping to attend the University of Chicago for economics and philosophy. Her goal is to go to law school. “These conferences allow us to be inspired by really notable people. I hope to widen my world view and discover new things that I wasn’t previously aware of.”
“These conferences allow us to be inspired by really notable people. I hope to widen my world view and discover new things that I wasn’t previously aware of.”
Alyssa Kamara, Monroe-Woodbury High School