JMG students from across Maine convene for leadership summit

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 5:42 PM EDT
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Around 500 students from around the state are taking part in an overnight educational experience over the next week.

JMG's Leadership Education Conference seeks to prepare students to be part of Maine's workforce.

It's being held at Pine Tree Camp in Rome.

"This year's theme is Maine Needs U, as in the letter 'U' for the word unique," said Matt St. John, JMG's Director of Operations. "And the question we're really asking students is, 'What makes you unique, and what skills can you provide to Maine's workforce right now?"

JMG says the main purpose of the conference is to develop students' leadership skills.

"At JMG, we want to be a solution for Maine's workforce crisis," said St. John. "So it's creating some of those pipelines, getting students to really be thinking about their careers, but also developing those skills."

Students participate in activities that build team-working skills, as well as skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) and business, like a Shark Tank exercise with business leaders from Maine as judges.

"It's really good because in your future, a lot of careers involve working with other people," said Paige Ford, a senior at Houlton High School. "So it gives you a good idea of what that's going to be like."

"All of these leaders, and all of the other students, just all kinds of different opinions," said Dameon Sanders, a senior at Hodgdon High School. "It's really fun to listen to everybody's different opinion and what they have to say and what they bring to each other and their class, and what they brought here."

Students say JMG helps set them up for future success.

"It really gives me a lot of insight into career wise what I want to do," said Ford. "And even if you already know what you want to do, it helps you get where you want to be."