Finley Students Participate in Leadership Conference

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Select members of Finley Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society and student council were invited to attend the 2015 Middle School Student Leadership Conference hosted by the Holocaust Memorial Tolerance Center on Oct. 28.

The theme of this year’s event was “Building Leadership Skills Through Advocacy.” The conference included guest speakers and breakout sessions for students. During her opening remarks, Holocaust Memorial Tolerance Center Director Tracy Garrison Feinberg challenged students to “use the lessons of the Holocaust to create a world where bullying doesn’t exist.”

More than 200 students from middle schools across Long Island were in attendance as guest speaker Maria Cruz from Define America spoke about her experiences growing up and how it felt to be on the receiving end of bullying and mistreatment. She also described how her work now centers on educating others to the real struggles of undocumented Americans, in hopes that education and understanding will end much of the discrimination, racism and bullying these Americans face today.

In the breakout sessions, the students discussed the ways they could enact positive change in their schools and helped each other brainstorm Action Plan ideas.