After weeks filled with projects, workshops, reflection, and mentorship, 24 students graduated from the Delaware Youth Leadership Network (DYLN) this week.
Through the program, DYLN scholars enjoyed the opportunity to grow outside of the classroom, learning skills that will help them be more effective students and land summer internships. The 2018 graduating class is comprised of juniors who attend various high schools throughout the state.
After a lovely rendition of the National Anthem by DYLN Scholars Molly Erdman (junior at Cab Calloway) and Adam Warner (junior at Brandywine High School), Delaware State Treasurer Ken Simpler addresses the students and parents, focusing on the concept of leadership. The event was held at the Barclays Center on the Riverfront.
Simpler emphasized that students should take on opportunities as they come, and acknowledged that while many people have goals, it is important for students to think about how they will reach these goals. Touching upon his own personal experience, he also advised students not be too disappointed if their initial career paths do not work out. Mr. Simpler closed by encouraging the group to persevere in life in life and congratulated them on their success in the leadership program.
To conclude the program, the DYLN scholars stood in a semi-circle in front of the room to present their 60 second reflections.
Peer mentors from the prior DYLN class introduced the scholars by superlatives, and each student took turns talking about what they enjoyed during their time in DYLN. To show the interconnected network DYLN has formed for the students, each of them held onto a piece of ribbon that was intertwined.
Many of the students were sad to see DYLN program end. But as St. Elizabeth junior Sean Holly shared in his speech, “This is the beginning of something new for the students, and I can’t wait to see the great things this class does in the future.”