Co-hosted by St. Aloysius Parish School in Pottstown, PA

Saturday, March 24, 2012
St. Aloysius Parish School
 Pottstown, PA

On Saturday, March 24,  more than 50 middle school students (5-8th graders) from Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia gathered at St. Aloysius Parish School for TACSC’s Student Leadership Day.  The day began with a welcome by our Executive Director Gene Detre, and an opening prayer by Fr. Joseph Maloney, Pastor at St. Aloysius.   Meghan Fay (TACSC Board of Directors Secretary), Roger Fay and Mike Mita (all TACSC alumnus) prepared the students for a High Impact day of workshops and activities. Our keynote speaker, TACSC Alumnus and Senior Staff member Catherine Mifsud, was next on the day’s schedule.   Ms. Mifsud, Director of Campus Ministry at Jesuit High School in New Orleans spoke to the delegates, parents and staff on the “Importance of Diversity in Building a Strong Team.” Ms. Mifsud’s high energy and engaging presentation asked students to identify and appreciate their differences in culture, appearance and skill sets. Students were exposed to stereotypes and prejudices that can hamper the functioning of small groups and were taught ways to look past them and find the strengths in each of their fellow students.

TACSC’s seasoned staff of presenters (all of whom are graduates of TACSC’s Summer Leadership Conference) facilitated many parts of the day’s program and provided workshop presentations on gaining confidence in personal presentation skills, building a united team that drives action, how to plan activities and reach targeted goals, and fine tuning specific skills for one’s Student Council office.  TACSC was proud to welcome six new staff members, all current 8th graders at Our Lady of Port Richmond in Philadelphia.  New staff members were mentored by TACSC senior Staff and were actively involved in preparing and presenting the morning workshops.  Thank you to Michelle Ganley, TACSC Staff 2002 and currently a teacher at Our Lady of Port Richmond, for introducing these new staff members to TACSC.  We look forward to the continued involvement of our new East Coast TACSC staff in future TACSC events.

Following lunch, the afternoon program became competitive as students participated in the “TACSC Leadership Challenge”.  Teams of students applied the information they learned from the morning workshops as they moved through six stations of “Amazing Race”-like games, quizzes and challenges. “We created the Leadership Challenge to give the students a chance to apply their recent learning as they worked through each of the challenges,” says Jim Oswald, President of the TACSC Board and creator of the Leadership Challenge.  “The activities place them in situations where if they use the info they learned from our staff, they will be significantly more successful and overall better communicators, collaborators and LEADERS in their schools and communities.”

As is traditional with TACSC programs, the St. Aloysius Student Leadership Day ended with Mass celebrated by Fr. Joseph Maloney.

Thank you to St. Aloysius Parish School and especially Ms. Cathy Weiand (Student Activities Coordinator) for their gracious support in hosting our 2nd Student Leadership Day in 2011-2012.

*Catherine Mifsud has been a TACSC Staff Member for over 20 years. She has served on the TACSC Board of Directors and worked several summers as an intern for the TACSC office. She graduated from San Francisco State with her degree in Communication Studies and completed her Masters in Theology from Boston College in 2005. She is currently Director of Campus Ministry and Theology at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, LA.

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