BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- A Briarcliff High School student has been selected to represent the school district at a conference of young leaders this summer.
Lauren Tannenbaum is this year’s recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership award, which is designed to foster leadership, service and innovation.
She and classmate Jack Ryan, who was chosen as the alternate, wrote winning essays that were blind-read by four of the district’s counselors.
Tannenbaum, who volunteers for the village’s Teen Advisory Board, said she was not quite sure at first if she qualified as a leader, but then “realized there is more than one meaning to that word.”
“Lauren and Jack’s (essays) stood out because they talked about how they learned to be leaders, modeling themselves after leaders by whom they were inspired,” said Meredith Safer, school counseling coordinator. “As educators, the counselors were particularly moved by this sentiment.”
School officials said the program teaches about volunteerism, integrity, excellence, diversity and community partnership.
All of these things, Tannenbaum said, are important, especially in a school environment.
“I think these qualities connect high school students to the rest of the world, which is helpful because school can sometimes be very isolating,” she said. “If I volunteer for something I care about, or if I’m involved in the community, then I am involved in the world outside of school.”
Tannenbaum said she is looking forward to learning more about giving back to her community.
“I hope to learn more about volunteerism because I don’t volunteer as much as I would like to, and I think it’s a very important thing to do,” she said. “I would like to learn how to get involved with things that I care about.”
The conference will take place in June at Adelphi University on Long Island.
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