Area high schoolers gain new leadership skills at High School Exchange

North Scott and Bettendorf High School students cut and tie T-shirts to make bags for children in local hospitals. This service project was through the Native Fund, an organization created for Iowans to help other Iowans.

This past week Bettendorf High School hosted its annual High School Exchange (HSE). The HSE is an event that welcomes students from other area high schools to come to Bettendorf for the day to learn about and develop new leadership skills.

“I decided to go to the exchange because I wanted to meet other students in our conference who are passionate and willing to donate their time to help others,” North Scott senior Kirsten Hale said.

At the exchange, students from Pleasant Valley, Bettendorf, and North Scott listened to guest speaker Dr. John Byrne, marketing professor at St. Ambrose University. Byrne, a three-time Leadville trail 100 mile run participant, spoke to students about dedication and achieving their dreams, even if it may seem impossible.

“I discovered, while listening to the speaker, that nothing is impossible, especially in pursuit of improving ourselves as well as helping others,” Hale said.

Apart from hearing Dr. Byrne’s speech, students also got to know each other through team building activities and making T-shirt bags for children in local hospitals together. Students even had time to jam out to some old school Taylor Swift during the service project.

“The exchange was very active,” said Hale.“We did a lot of icebreakers where we had to work together and listen to each others’ ideas. It was very beneficial because being a leader means listening to various opinions and trying to figure out the best solution.”

Students who attended the exchange are planning to get together again for a similar event in the future.


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