Commitment scholarship program holds teen care conference

MANISTEE — Being prepared for what lies ahead is a big step for any student preparing to go to college.

Kate Thomson, Youth & Education associate of the Manistee County Community Foundation talks with Commitment Scholars about academic organization of study tips at their recent conference.

Recently the Armory Youth Project was filled with 60 students ranging from the ninth to the 11th grade from the Manistee County Community Foundation and Launch Manistee’s Commitment Scholarship Program’s annual All Scholars Conference who were working on that goal. The informative conference featured six facilitated sessions centered around tips the students could use for better teen self care.

Established in the spring of 2016, the Manistee Commitment Scholarship Program is rooted in Launch Manistee, a cradle-to-career educational network that operates as a community leadership initiative of the Manistee County Community Foundation.

Manistee philanthropists Bill and Marty Paine took a step to provide financial support to make dreams come true for many Manistee County students three years ago to provide funding that could lead to a free education at West Shore Community College. Working with the Manistee County Community Foundation on this program are West Shore Community College, the Manistee Intermediate School District, Bear Lake, CASMAN Alternative Academy, Kaleva Norman Dickson, Manistee Area Public, Manistee Catholic Central and Onekama Consolidated Schools.

Manistee Commitment Scholar Program mentor Kate Thomson said the conference went well.

“The event was a great success,” said Thomson. “We were fortunate to have excellent student attendance and participation, and are grateful for our school partners, the Armory Youth Project and county-wide transportation assistance from Dial-A-Ride, who made the event possible.”

Thomson said what helped the program work so well was the interaction the students had with the presenters.

“It was wonderful to have such outstanding presenters leading terrific and engaging sessions, providing students with useful self care strategies, ideas and practices they could use that very day back at school, outside of school, in college and beyond,” said Thomson.

She described the six sessions:

• Mindfulness Training from Patty Roth of the MSU Extension. Roth serves as the Social Emotional Health Educator for District 3 and has completed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Self-Compassion courses founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn and led by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer;

• Healthy Eating Habits, including smoothie making with infamous MSU Extension “smoothie bike” and Nutrition Program Instructor Cyndi Jacobi, also from MSU Extension, District 3;

• Movement, Yoga and Personal Peacefulness with Leah Wachlin, yoga, dance and body movement instructor;

• Discovering and Developing Personal Strengths for school, college and beyond, with Manistee County Community Foundation’s Youth and Education program officer, Hannah Rodriguez who led students in an introduction to CliftonStrengths® for Students;

• Substance Use and Prevention Brainstorm Discussion with Sarah Garthe, Manistee Substance Education & Awareness (SEA) facilitator; and

• Academic Organization and Study Tips with Kate Thomson, Youth & Education associate of the Manistee County Community Foundation.

Megan Gydesen, ninth grade Commitment Scholar at Bear Lake High School felt the program really delivered some good information.

“I really loved the studying tips and the mental health parts,” she said. “Too often we ignore our own needs in order to succeed, so it was nice to hear tips on how to better deal with this and hear that other people experience this as well. It was nice to have studying tips because it allows us to step back and find a way to help ourselves to focus. Overall, it was an amazing and helpful experience.”

The Manistee Commitment Scholarship Program is rooted in Launch Manistee, a cradle-to-career educational network that operates as a community leadership initiative of the Manistee County Community Foundation.

The commitment scholar program strives to ensure the success of Manistee County students and the community. Manistee Commitment Scholars begin the program during their ninth grade year and are supported by programming throughout their high school career. If they meet program requirements and choose to attend West Shore Community College they are eligible for scholarship assistance and continued programmatic support.

 

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