By Peter Sblendorio
The new school year has brought a new cast of 30 well-rounded juniors into the Teen Leadership Coppell (TLC) program. These students will impact the community in a number of ways over the next year.
The main purpose of the group is to produce leaders setting good examples at Coppell High School and in the community for their classmates. In addition, students in the group attempt to make a difference in Coppell and the surrounding areas through service projects in the community.
Students were required to fill out a lengthy application, write an essay and interview in order to apply for this highly esteemed group. Ninety-five applied for only 30 spots this year, proving that those accepted have potential to make a significant difference in Coppell.
“These 30 kids are an outstanding group of kids,” Coppell dean of instruction Gina Peddy said. “They accept everyone. They are very caring, very loving. They are one of the best groups as far as communicating and that has gone a long way in unifying the group.”
TLC meets on select dates each month for leadership coaching and to build a strong team bond through games and exercises. These meetings have been beneficial in allowing the members of TLC to get to know each other.
“I like the variety of people in the group,” junior member Ana Nino said. “There are a number of people I have never met before and a lot of people I have never gotten to know. Every single person in TLC is a great person who I look forward to getting to know more.”
The TLC members also went on a one day retreat at Stony Ranch last month. There, the students were given a chance to bond and learn without any distractions from the outside world.
“The people [at Stony Ranch] are big into being leaders,” junior Adam Bremner said. “We did team building activities and we did things that taught us life lessons.
The activities symbolized how to handle prominent issues in life. One game that they played involved the students catching tennis balls while avoiding touching rubber chickens, which represented the distractions in life that people should steer away from. Another game played there preached the importance of trusting your companions, as students were required to fall backwards into the arms of partner.
Many of the juniors in TLC boast different backgrounds, though they share the same beliefs in the importance of impacting their community. In addition to supplying CHS and New Tech High with citizens willing to go out of their way to set a good example, TLC sponsors at least one major community service project in the area.
“[Teen Leadership Coppell] is important because it gives us an opportunity to give back to our community that has given us so much,” junior member Ben Osiecki said. “It is teaching us how to be great leaders for our high school and our community.