The entire New Mexico Student Delegation in their show-stopping chile hats at the National Student Council Association’s National Conference, June 21, in Portland, Ore. Courtesy photo.
From left, Delegate Kim Lopez, Teacher Rachel Cowan and Delegate Stephanie Kuzmack at the National Student Council Association’s National Conference. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos High School Seniors Kim Lopez and Stephanie Kuzmack and Teacher Rachel Cowan joined a delegation of 30 New Mexico students and advisors to the National Student Council Association’s National Conference, June 21, in Portland, Ore.
For six packed days, they went to conference workshops, assemblies, mixers and even did some sight-seeing. The focus of the Conference was developing leadership. There were nearly 1,000 students at the Conference from all states, Guam and Puerto Rico. Kuzmack is the LAHS Student Council Vice-President, Lopez is a four-year Student Council member, and Cowan is the Class of 2017 sponsor.
All three were sponsored by the Los Alamos High School Student Council, which voted to send these delegates after hosting the highly successful New Mexico Association of Student Councils State Conference in February.
Kuzmack had the following to say about her experiences at the National Conference: “The numerous guest speakers inspired me to help others, and include all students in spite of differences in social standing or appearance. The most rewarding part of this trip was the time spent with fellow New Mexico delegates; we went from being casual acquaintances to best of friends. Outgoing Student Council Advisor, Joanne Ploeger, has been such an inspiration and incredible mentor to me and without her, I would have never had the chance to attend such a life-changing event.”
Lopez also counted this experience as a life-changing event: “Going to Nationals in Oregon was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made. After being in student council for 6 years, this was definitely a side of enthusiasm and excitement I had never seen. The workshops had such a big impact in my life and I plan to bring ideas to LAHS to make a difference. I was able to bond with an amazing group of students from New Mexico and met so many others from across the country. This trip is one that I will never forget.”
Cowan was able to go to workshops created especially for advisors, and she stated: “This was such an incredible experience. The motivational speakers and workshop leaders were exceptional, and the host high school did a fabulous job. I watched our New Mexico students become friends and support each other, students from 7th through 12th grade, from small schools in Dulce to large high schools in Las Cruces. I feel like I received the best professional development ever, and am very excited to help Stephanie and Kim try to connect all the students at LAHS. Thank you to the LAHS Student Council for sponsoring me!”