Joliet Catholic Academy held its annual 7th Grade Leadership Conference on Friday, March 28th. Over 250 7th graders were in attendance.  In addition, JCA had nearly 100 of their own student leaders who helped facilitate the event.

The conference took place from 9 am to 11:30 am. JCA students led small groups of 7th graders in activities and discussions. Tapestry, Joliet Catholic Academy’s choral group performed for the students, performing renditions of popular songs from musical favorites like “Mamma Mia”, “Wicked”, and “Frozen”.

Several speakers also punctuated the morning, including student speakers Alex Blotnik and Joe McNulty and keynote speaker Coach Sam Quigley (JCA ’06). Senior Alex Blotnik, a St. Raymond alum and president of both the student body and senior class, spoke about issues a leader may face. As an actively involved student, she encouraged 7th graders to be the same way but warned of the criticisms a leader may face. Alex made clear that fact must not be a deterrent, but rather a motivation to be a better, stronger leader saying, “Be the type of person that you would want to follow.” Later, senior Joe McNulty, captain of the boys’ basketball team and Hillzone leader, spoke more about the difficulties of being a leader. He stressed that in order to be a great leader, one must have certain characteristics, highlighting resilience and integrity. Mentioning that “popularity is not leadership”, Joe reminded students that leadership will involve unpopular opinions, but a good leader focuses on the good of the group.

Sam Quigley, the women’s basketball coach at University of St. Francis, shared her unique take on leadership, P.A.L. The acronym stands for passion, action, and legacy. Sam urged students to find something that they were passionate about, and then take the actions needed to be leaders in their sport or in their club, or whatever their “passion” might be. For a group of 7th graders, the legacy part was a little more tricky, however Sam wanted them to just continue to think of the legacy they want to leave in the future while they continue to take action in pursuing their passions.

Attached, please find the day’s agenda.

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