YSU Leadership workshop draws Valley teens

The workshop is designed to teach leadership skills and community awareness.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Niles High School sophomore Chris Leedy says he "definitely" thinks the Youngstown area can make a comeback.
"I hope so," Leedy, 15, said Friday.
"I think people our age now are the ones who will be ideal leaders," he said. "I think a lot of people are going to stay in the area and a lot of people are going to go and be leaders elsewhere.
"I want to stay."
Leedy was one of about 200 sophomores from Mahoning and Trumbull county schools to attend the Hugh O'Brian Youth Community Leadership Educational Workshop at Youngstown State University on Wednesday. The event was hosted by YSU's Williamson College of Business Administration.
"They want us to stay in Youngstown and lead the future to have this community be a much better place, and it can be," said Kenneth Wagner, 15, of Liberty High School.
Wagner said younger and better leaders could help achieve success.
"It has the potential," he said. "But you need all the resources to pull it out, people and diversity, too."
About the workshop
The workshop featured panels with local leaders in the fields of education and the press. Students also participated in discussions and hear speakers, including Lt. Jerry Thompson of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Bret J. Gensburg, 21, a YSU senior who serves as adviser for the leadership workshops across Ohio, said the goal is to motivate youths, introduce them to the free enterprise business and "expose them to the world outside their community."
Students return to their communities to partake in community-service projects and "show that we're ready to lead the country," said Gensburg of Lordstown, a math education major.
"I feel when I grow up I'm going to need good leadership, pretty much any job you pick, you need good leadership," said Courtney Zemkosky, 15, of Springfield High School, who hopes to be a teacher or journalist.
Deanna McGuire, 15, of Canfield High School, said the area needs to attract more businesses. She said she'll likely leave for better career opportunities elsewhere.
Zemkosky said she'd stay and believes the Mahoning Valley area can see a revival, "if we keep on producing seminars like this and just having fun with it and getting kids to develop leadership goals."
"If we don't do something about it and stay around, it's never going to get back to where it used to be."