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        Lowell High Reaching New Heights

        11/7/2011
        Contributed by Lowell High School, Lowell, MA

        by MaryVivian Okwara, Senior, Lowell Chapter Treasurer

        (Note: This story was written and submitted by Lowell High School BPA. Your chapter can publish stories about your chapter, too! Click here for information about the BPA.org Custom Chapter System.)

        "Everyone has a gift and the world would be better off if we recognized it.” --Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics.

        The Lowell High School Chapter of Business Professionals of America was proud to represent its school in the annual Fall Leadership Conference at Clark University, Worcester, on October 26. This year, 14 members were accompanied by our advisor, Mrs. McNamara, to yet another successful conference as we strive to ‘Reach New Heights.’
         

        Reaching With Leadership

        <br />Ready to Reach New Heights on the way to BPA Nationals (Front 
L-R) 
Monica Ouk, Merissa Snead, Pavina Sengvongchanh, Eric Lim, Chapter 
President Lilo Altali, Michael Duong, Amanda Ren, Alison Njoroge (Back 
L-R) Advisor Jill McNamara, Treasurer MaryVivian Okwara, Historian 
Elizabeth Thach, Secretary Kayena Patel, Emmanuella Emmanuel, 
Parliamentarian Gechlang Chhim, and Natalie Nyambura show off their best
 business attire for the conference!
        Ready to Reach New Heights on the way to BPA Nationals (Front L-R) Monica Ouk, Merissa Snead, Pavina Sengvongchanh, Eric Lim, Chapter President Lilo Altali, Michael Duong, Amanda Ren, Alison Njoroge (Back L-R) Advisor Jill McNamara, Treasurer MaryVivian Okwara, Historian Elizabeth Thach, Secretary Kayena Patel, Emmanuella Emmanuel, Parliamentarian Gechlang Chhim, and Natalie Nyambura show off their best business attire for the conference!
        The Massachusetts BPA Leadership Conference brought chapters from all around the state and the Officer Team got us to challenge ourselves as students and leaders within our chapters. Among those challenges was an attempt to come up with positive replacements for words and phrases used to discriminate against others because of race, ethnicity or gender. During the conference, we separated into teams and we had to come up with new words to replace the ‘R’ word. The ‘R’ word, meaning ‘retard(ed)’ is commonly used and it hurts many people because it is derogatory and offensive.  Therefore, in an attempt to stop this trend, we brainstormed and found phrases we could pass on and spread to our friends such as rad or radiant to replace the demeaning ‘R’ word.  Business Professionals of America is a partner in support of Special Olympics nationwide.  The Lowell Chapter is  researching ways to become involved with Massachusetts Special Olympics this year.
         
        Another productive group activity was the Random Act of Kindness Workshop, where we brainstormed on an act of kindness we might have experienced and the impact it made on someone’s life.  It was amazing to hear about how very simple things could light up someone’s world. With this activity came the challenge--we all had to make a calendar for the month of November containing a random act of kindness we should/could perform each day. The leadership conference had a positive impact on each and every student from Lowell High that attended. It motivated us to grow as individuals and also as leaders in our society. At the conclusion of the conference, we learned about the various pre-state leadership conference contests, like the Pin Contest, Cover Contest, and Writing Contest and it was exciting to look forward to the States Leadership Conference in March as well as the National Leadership Conference to be held in Chicago in late April.

        We were fortunate to take advantage of this wonderful experience that helped us improve our social and leadership skills through the group work and presentations. We definitely hope to pass on the lessons we learned and share our experience with the entire community including our families and schoolmates and even at social gatherings.  For more information about Business Professionals of America at Lowell High School, join us every Wednesday in Room 629 immediately after school!

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