Aaron Walker ’16 was one of 54 high school students honored as part of St. Louis County’s annual Outstanding Student Leadership Conference. County Executive Steve Stenger recognized these students with a proclamation at a special ceremony on September 15 in the County Council Chambers.
“These students exemplify the values that make our community great,” County Executive Stenger said. “They were chosen for this conference based on outstanding contributions to their schools, their communities, and their leadership abilities.”
This one-day conference was a collaboration between the St. Louis County Department of Human Services and Washington University. Students spent the day at the University, working with faculty to enhance their understanding of community issues and increase their motivation to continue to the St. Louis region. They were organized into groups for team building exercises and given various scenarios dealing with healthcare, education, housing and the economy and challenged to create grant proposals. They presented their proposals to panels in hopes of securing funding. This simulation of real-life work was especially appealing to Aaron. “I really enjoyed being able to collaborate with students from other schools to try and fix problems around the St. Louis Area,” he said. He also enjoyed meeting Washington University students and learning about their college experiences.
This annual conference, says Youth Project Coordinator Brian Wieher, “is a great opportunity for students from many different backgrounds to come together on this special day. No matter where they live or where they go school, today, they share a common bond. They are their school’s representative for such a meaningful program.”
All student participants are enrolled in St. Louis County high schools and were nominated by their school’s administration.