Newell High School students learn life, leadership skills - KOTA Territory News

Newell High School students learn life, leadership skills

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They're topics you may not find in a textbook or taught in a classroom.

Wednesday, one KOTA territory high school connected students with crucial leadership and life lessons, as a way to kick off the new year.

Whether it's dating, grades of parents, Chantel Wheeler, a senior at Newell High School knows what troubles can find the average teenager.

"Drinking I guess, a couple kids are into drugs. Jealously is the main one in high school," said Wheeler, a member of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) team. 

 And as a new year starts, Wheeler and the S.A.D.D. team hope to bring attention to topics often overlooked in classrooms.

 "We are learning about all the different aspects of life and the teachers are learning just as much as the students are," said Kennedy Finck, a senior at Newell High School and member of S.A.D.D.

"We're hoping it raises their self awareness so their self esteem is stronger," said Sabrina Harmon, Director of the Whatever it Takes coalition or W.I.T. 

And no topic is off limits - including teen dating, personality testing, and even the do's and don't of social media.

"Colleges and most of your job things look at facebook and if you put up drunk pictures its gonna effect and it's not going to make you look like a good person," said Finck.

"There's a lot of students who see their parents fight, if they see what a healthy relationship is maybe they can have one," said Wheeler.

"It's challenging being an adolescent and knowing that's ok and what's not ok,' said Rebekkah Kruse, with Working Against Violence Inc. 

Organizers say it's also a path to taking on a leadership role in the community.

"It teaches you how to go back and talk to your parents or your school board or city board if there's something you think would better your community," said Harmon.

Newell high school's first annual leadership day featured speakers from the South Dakota national guard, Highway Patrol, W.A.V.I, Golden West technologies, SDSU Extension, Black Hills Power, and the Butte County Sheriff's office.

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