More than 120 middle school students attend Youth Conference at GCC

Students learned leaderships skills and how to make healthy life choices

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office held its 5th annual “You Lead Youth Conference” at Greenfield community College on Wednesday.

Area middle school students and teachers learned leadership skills and put them to practice.

“This event is really cool to see other kids from different communities and it’s really helpful because you learn a lot that they don’t really talk about in school,” said Melanie Hurley, Student at South Hadley Middle School.

More than 120 students from 13 area middle schools participated in this youth conference, aimed to help students grow into strong leaders inside and outside the classroom.

“A lot of these kids are student athletes some are not, just providing them with some really good leadership skills,” said Jane Biagi, Consultant of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Those skills included decision-making, networking, communication, problem-solving and how to use social media.

“They gave us more of an education with how we can use social media and handling it and and being able to teach our peers and other students about it,” said Jordan Dunham, Student at White Brook Middle School.

“What you do now, does matter and you have choices and you can be the driver of your life,” said Laurie Loisel, Director of Community Outreach for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. “You don’t have to let other people pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do.”

Students also learned strategies on how to prevent violence and the consequences of drug use. Loisel pointed out that early drug use can hurt brain development, which can make addiction much harder to overcome.