DOWNEY - Spirit, advice, and fool-proof plans to get the impossible done are only half of what Downey High's Associated Student Body, or ASB, learned amidst the seminars and inspirational speakers of CADA Leadership Camp.CADA is a recommended camp located at the University of California, Santa Barbara for ASB's newest members where students interested in leadership positions within school can arrive from various parts of the U.S. to become a student body ready to learn how to govern successfully. The only time ASB members from Downey High were able to see each other between July 17-20 was during lunch breaks and late at night in each other's dorms. "Being separate from school kids gave us a chance to meet a lot of people and that's going to happen in life, but everyone was so friendly and all had a common thing," said Commissioner of Campus and Community, Yaheli Aguilera. From 6 a.m. to midnight, ASB students followed a rigorous schedule of council meetings and educational sessions. Councils were made up of students unknown to the other, but who worked together to achieve their purpose. These student-run councils met occasionally to focus on their topic, such as advertising or teacher and staff recognition. ASB President Liz Calvillo focused on matching sessions that would most likely be useful to each member's particular job at Downey. "The sessions taught how to lead, how to be the one to step up," said Calvillo. "Everyone went to their own session, but I had everyone go to a pep session because school spirit has really gone down and we need to bring it back up. If you're more spirited, then you want to be at school. Everyone would be a lot less motivated if they hadn't been at CADA, and spirit at Downey isn't great, while spirit at CADA is really good. We see that, and it becomes our goal." Every meeting, session, guest speaker, and new kid added to a complete educational experience that would assist not only in tasks demanded from a member of ASB, but also in tasks demanded from a leader throughout life. "A speaker talked about how he made something out of his life, how he was nobody and yet he still managed to climb to the top, and I think that it's something I needed, a little push to do better and achieve what I want to achieve and I can use it in life, not just for ASB," said Elizabeth Bernstein, Commissioner of Pep, Spirit, and Assembly. "The speakers mostly applied to life and the kids applied to ASB with their leadership."
********** Published: September 4, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 20