OSWEGO, NY – Omicron Delta Kappa, SUNY Oswegoâ€™s National Leadership Honor Society wanted a way to connect with the local community.
They discovered a perfect way to do that was by developing a program called â€œTake the Lead, Strengths, Leadership and Teamwork,â€ a program for Oswego Middle School students.
ODK president Dan Lupa, in collaboration with his intern supervisor Michelle Cooper, brought the program to fruition as support was shown byÂ the Oswego City School District officials, SUNY Oswego faculty and staff as well as the 19 members of the Oswego Middle School Eight Plus program.
Activities to collaboratively develop studentsâ€™ character included in class strengths, leadership and teamwork exercise, as well as a visit to the SUNY Oswego campus for a scavenger hunt and culminating luncheon along with keynote speaker Newton Paul.
Oswego Middle School guidance counselor Michelle Cooper said, â€œI thought this was one of our most meaningful programs I have seen in a long time. It gave our students the opportunity to experience the college environment while interacting with college students and professors. They had the opportunity to listen to several motivational speakers with the message that anything is possible, even college, as long as you work hard towards your goals. Our students took on leadership roles, raised funds, became aware of the needs within our community while providing a service. I am so proud of each of them and very thankful to all those that helped make this such a positive experience.â€
Eight grade plus students involved in the humanitarian effort included, Mike Bateman, Jim Bristol, Courtney Carpenter, Stephanie Cusyck, Tony DeStevens, Brian Druval, Dakota Elkin,Â Rose Farruggio, John Fitzgerald, Lewis Grant, Mike Haskins, Amber Hazelton, Dan Knopp, Jessica Maynes, Kourtney McManus, Christian Ortiz, Cody Pickreign, Brittany Rizzo, Chris Sweeney and Kyle Webster.
Lupa explained, â€œMainly, the students were charged to plan and implement a school dance to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Through the Michael Jackson themed dance, the studentsâ€™ efforts raised $990. ODK honor society vowed to match the funds raised by the students and in turn raised $1,050. These amounts combined with contributions from several Greek campus organizations raised in total $2,900 to benefit the Make-A-Wish Chapter of Central New York.â€
Lupa continued, â€œCongratulations to the students who participated in the program for challenging themselves and directly making a positive impact in the life of an Oswego County â€˜wish kid.â€™â€
More than 50 local businesses supported â€œTake the Leadâ€ by donating goods or services.
It was noted that without this support, such success would not have been possible.
The Oswego Middle School students benefited as they realized the importance of helping others, responsibility and making a difference.
The program was funded by the Oswego County Youth Bureau and Clay Grant from Omicron Delta Kappa National.