JCA students Dollinger, Piercy speak at seminar

Rotary Youth Leadership conference a chance to learn lessons

JCA students Erin Piercy (left) and Nate Dollinger were guest speakers at the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference. (Photo by Bill Scheibe)

JOLIET – Leaders lead, but they also listen. They show appreciation. They are hard-working, humble and responsible. And they understand the importance of representing their family and their community.

That was part of the eloquent message delivered by Joliet Catholic Academy juniors Nathan Dollinger and Erin Piercy, both of whom were guest speakers at the Rotary Youth Leadership Seminar.

Dollinger, the son of Edward and Gloria of Joliet, and Piercy, the daughter of Ann of Naperville, were among the nine JCA students in attendance from the school’s sophomore, junior and senior classes.

“I mentioned some of the things we have learned at JCA – how you should always be a leader, and as a leader, appreciate the people you work with and how hard they work,” Dollinger said. “You should always give them thanks for what they do and you have to work together to accomplish things.”

“I mostly spoke about how in order to be a good leader, you have to listen first,” Piercy said. “That’s a big key to growing a relationship with the people you are leading because you have to hear their thoughts first and take what you have learned from that and use that in your leadership of the group.”

Dollinger and Piercy were joined at the Rotary Youth Leadership Seminar by junior Molly Whalen (Joliet), sophomores Alexandra Blotnik (Shorewood), Jordan Jones (Aurora) and Alanna Wahl (Plainfield) and seniors Malin Jones (Naperville), Sarah Morimoto (Joliet) and Jonathan Nonnie (Joliet).

As part of the college preparatory coeducational high school’s Student Ambassadors program, Dollinger and Piercy have become accustomed to dealing with the public and presenting JCA’s mission statement.

“We’re being asked to represent the school properly,” Dollinger said. “A lot of faith has been shown in us, at events like Step-Up Day, to represent JCA and show things that should be known about JCA.”

“We have to be responsible and represent the school in the right way,” Piercy said. “It’s very important.”

The importance of leadership, Piercy and Dollinger noted, is stressed at JCA in and out of the classroom.

“Leadership is one of the biggest things here,” said Piercy, a member of the girls varsity volleyball team. “Especially on the volleyball team, it’s stressed that you have to take the initiative to get the job done.”

“No one can take a passive role,” said Dollinger, a member of JCA’s Class 5A state football runnersup who also plays for varsity boys volleyball. “Someone has to take charge and get the team together, get the team going so you can excel and win. Nothing would get done if you didn’t have the leadership.”

For Dollinger and Piercy, it is an aspect that will continue next year as seniors.

“It’s going to be different,” Piercy said. “But in that senior year, it’s our turn now.”

“JCA will be looking to the seniors to step up and show initiative,” Dollinger said. “It’s our time to lead.”

— Bill Scheibe, Director of Communications

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