Area students participate in Civic Day

WARREN – Leah Blaney said one thing she learned during Civic Day is to always take people’s names first when conducting an interview.

Blaney, a senior at Joseph Badger, and Isaac Duffron, a student from Lakeview, spent time at the Tribune Chronicle learning what it takes to craft a newspaper. Both were especially excited to see the printing press in action.

“It blew my mind! It was nuts – I didn’t know they just made it right there. It was huge,” Blaney said.

Duffron was impressed with the electronic components inside the machinery.

More than 80 high school seniors from 20 Trumbull County schools participated in the Trumbull County Education Service Center’s 29th annual Civic Day on Monday. The students spent the morning shadowing area civic leaders to gain a better understanding of what they do at work.

This year’s sponsors included the Albert M. Covelli Foundation, Compass Family and Community Services, Conservation League Inc., Cortland Lions Club, Hubbard Rotary Foundation, Kinsman Area Rotary, Optimist Club of Brookfield and the Rotary Club of Niles.

Keynote speaker was Laura Meeks, president of Eastern Gateway Community College.

“You can’t be a leader unless people are willing to follow you. They have to know you care,” Meeks said during a luncheon at DiVieste Banquet Hall in Warren.

Meeks told students to use their talents to help others in civic engagement because that strengthens you, the nation needs leaders, and it allows you to show respect and care for others.

Meeks cited three statistics that she learned at a recent event in Washington, D.C. One of them was that 14,000 college seniors surveyed in 2006-07 had an average score of just more than 50 percent on their civic literacy exam.

Meeks’ advice: “Pay attention. Get an A in government.”

She said it is also crucial to work in a team and be able to hold group discussions.

In closing, Meeks said, “Go out and lead.”