Tahoe-Truckee students learn to be leaders at leadership summit | SierraSun.com

Tahoe-Truckee students learn to be leaders at leadership summit

Kim Bradley
Special to the Sun
In all, 73 local students gathered at the summit sponsored by TTUSD's Wellness Program.
Courtesy photo |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s Wellness Program, Community Collaborative youth partners and the Truckee Tahoe Airport District hosted a very successful Youth Leadership Summit two weeks ago.

Its focus was to inspire and empower our local high school students to be leaders at their schools and in the community.

Seventy-three students from North Tahoe High School, Truckee High School, Sierra High School and the Community School gathered to share their voices and connect with other high school students across the school district.

Bringing students together from different school communities allowed them to share experiences, build stronger relationships and amplify their voices together.

The feedback from the students who participated was very positive. Xochitl Perez of North Tahoe High School reflected on the opportunity to interact with students from different campuses: “People from different schools think differently and it gives us a well rounded understanding of the community.”

Guest speaker Stu Cabe kicked off the event with an inspirational speech centered on the message “don’t be little — be big.”

Cabe, a specialist in creating a positive school culture, encouraged students to stand up for what is right and take active roles in defining their school environment.

He then facilitated discussion groups about topics such as resiliency, empathy, leadership, and building community.

“Stu was really funny but also very inspirational and touching,” stated Alex Gonzalez, a North Tahoe High School freshman.

The Summit also provided an opportunity for students to interact directly with TTUSD Superintendent Rob Leri. Students had the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns.

“He could directly interact with students and hear what they had to say,” said Carson Gracey, from North Tahoe.

Leri talked to the students about the importance of student voice and shared various efforts the school district is taking to strengthen the connection between school leadership and students.

These efforts include Leri himself listening to students through school site visits and high school student panels at board meetings.

The Summit would not have been possible without the generous support of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District, which provided the space for the Summit, as well as financial support and warm hospitality to all the students.

The airport district contributed more than $2,700 to sponsor the event, the speaker, and transportation for students.

In addition, numerous community youth partners helped facilitate the Summit.

Staff from Tahoe Safe Alliance, For Goodness Sake, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, Adventure Risk Challenge, Mountain Gateway Center, Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee, Tahoe Forest Hospital, and Nevada County Public Health generously gave their time and energy to make this event possible.

After such a successful first Summit, the TTUSD Wellness program looks forward to creating many more opportunities to promote student voice.

Kim Bradley is Wellness Center Coordinator for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Email her at kbradley@ttusd.org.