Three Columbia GEAR UP students had the wonderful opportunity to travel to WSU to attend the 4H Teen Conference. They were able to interact, strategize and learn about themselves with over 350 other delegates from around the state.
While there, they attended four sessions on various topics, ranging from physical fitness and what key it plays in being successful in college to learning about their leadership styles. The three days were packed with team building activities, guest motivational speakers, a college and career day, a texting and driving seminar and of course lots of fun!
This year’s theme was, It’s Decision Time. The kids learned that it’s decision time when it comes to their future. Now is when they need to be looking towards their future and the work that needs to be done to make it a success. This conference gave them the tools to build the foundation of their future, with not only knowledge and education but with leadership, caring and apathy for others and their world.
Motivational speaker, Houston Kraft, was a highlight of the trip. Houston spoke of the different types of love and how they apply to your daily life. His message is regardless of what you choose to do in life or what you fear, always choose love. Love of yourself, your world, your family, your friends and most importantly the “love” you show those you just meet. Choosing to show those who you do not know love, impacts their lives in ways we may never see. “While we can’t choose how we feel, we can choose how we act. While our everyday words and actions may seem small, their impact can be tremendous.” (www.houstonkraft.com) Houston’s message of also conquering your fears, especially when it comes to college is a powerful thing. Not letting your fears dominate your life and understanding fear is a feeling and love is a choice was his main message to the delegates. Always choose love.
CHS student, Michelle Maine said, “My favorite part of the trip was getting to learn about different college courses and though I may choose one field, it’s never too late to tweak it or improve upon it.” Reece Humphreys said, “Houston Kraft was the best motivational speaker I have ever heard.” Jade Bohannon echoed both Reece and Michelle but added that making new friends from all over the state was her favorite part. All three students gave it an 8 on a scale of 1-10 and when asked why not a 10, they all said because it wasn’t long enough and it had to end!