Super Teens Achieving Regional Success kicked off on Thursday, and these bright shining STARS engaged their leadership potential.
"I feel that there's a bunch of needs in my community, let alone other communities,” says Brianna, a sixth-grader at Ritchie Middle School.
Students from eight county communities took part in the program -- including Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood.
So they're learning to develop a community project.
"We have the four issue areas; education, unmet needs, environment and public safety and they also have a session on team building, because you know you can't do it by yourself,” says Stella Moon, RESA 5 coordinator for adolescent health.
Being there means a lot.
"Gives our students the opportunity to fine tune their leadership skills, to hear from professionals in their communities and to allow us to take back to our own community the skills that they've learned here today,” says Pam Stollings, a counselor at Tyler Consolidated High School.
Dr. Robert Stevens from the Bernard McDonough Foundation was on hand to speak to the students.
According to Moon, “they fund this also and (he) spoke to them about leadership, integrity, character -- how important what you do today affects your life tomorrow."
Selected because they're caterpillars their schools hope grow into butterflies.
"These are students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to develop these skills,” Stollings says.
They're starting young.
"So they're learning all of those things that they need to learn as a youth so that they can become a responsible, productive adult,” Moon says.
For Brianna, it just makes sense.
"I feel like I can make a difference if I help other people."
For more information about STARS and to get your child involved, contact Moon at RESA 5, 304-485-6513, ext. 1314.