Never underestimate the power of a smile

NYSPHSSA Student Leadership Conference

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) hosted its first-ever in-person Student Leadership Conference at the Hilton in Albany.

Madyson Reed, a 10th grader from Scotia Glenville and a 3-sport student-athlete, shared her experience, “I got a new perspective on leadership, specifically how it relates to high school athletics. We were put into groups and worked with different organizations,” she said. 

The conference was held to celebrate the association’s Centennial and provided sophomores and juniors with an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills by listening to presentations from various speakers and participating in workshops. The aim was to help them positively influence their teams, athletic departments, schools, and communities.

“It was an incredible opportunity. Nearly 170 students from around New York State attended this conference. The workshops, along with the well-reputed speakers, allowed the students to receive in-person training and development.” – Dr. Robert Zayas, Executive Director of NYSPHSSA

“I sat with a gentleman who represented children diagnosed with cancer,” Madyson said. “He taught us to gain a greater sense of gratitude and how to apply it to our student life. These children had a short amount of time to live, but they focused on what they could do to help others in their same situation. By applying this to our everyday lives, we can see that all of us need to help each other. I plan to share what I have learned with my varsity lacrosse teammates and take a greater leadership role with Scotia Glenville Varsity Club. My takeaway that I would like to share with you as the reader of this article is this: you can start to be the positive change you would like to see by greeting others with a smile.”

student smiling and holding a sign
Madyson Reed, SGHS grade 10