Over 200 seventh grade students from Otoe County gathered at Syracuse Middle School Feb. 13 for the SAIL (Students Accelerating In Leadership)  Conference.  Palmyra, Syracuse, Nebraska City, and  Lourdes attended the event.
The Conference was organized by United Way and Saint Mary’s with assistance from several other organizations.  All students gathered upon arrival in the middle school gym to hear the keynote speaker, NSAA (Nebraska Schools Activities Association) Executive Director Jim Tenopir.  He encouraged the students to take advantage of the sports and activities.  
Among the many benefits, he noted participation gives motivation for students to perform in the classroom, self esteem and psychological well-being, and many useful life lessons. In addition, he noted that a school’s activities and athletic programs often serve as a “front porch” to the school and community.
Throughout the day, students rotated through classrooms in small groups to participate in a variety of sessions.  They attended Unlock your Leadership Potential, Team Building, Your Digital Footprint, KnowHow2Go (college), Current Drug and Alcohol Trends, and “CONE” Team building.