New Frontier hosts 5th annual Teen Summit
by John DeFoor
Oct 16, 2011 | 1740 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Retired Bell South executive Dennis Runnion and Tina Brush, consultant and trainer, talk with students in grades 6-9 about leadership skills at the New Frontier of Bartow County fifth annual Teen Summit.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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On Saturday, New Frontier of Bartow County Inc. hosted its fifth annual Teen Summit at the Georgia Highlands College's Cartersville campus with the theme "Good Is Not Enough."

According to Dwayne Washington -- Teen Summit Chair and Mentoring Group Chair -- New Frontier is a civic organization geared toward community service for Bartow County. Males from the ages 12-18 were invited to attend. Speakers spoke to high school students about life after graduation, college, and tips for success in college. Meanwhile, middle school students learned about valuable skills such as leadership, trust, teamwork and self-confidence through a variety of activities.

In the session, "I'm Graduating ... What's Next," speaker Maurice Wilson spoke to high school students about the cost of living and how the various degree levels of college education can, on average, increase one's standard of living.

"Where your going is contingent on what your willing to do now," Wilson said during his session.

College students -- a majority from Georgia Highlands -- also attended the summit to discuss their experiences in college, career paths, and the importance of maintaining good grades in high school. Chris Carter was one of the college students in attendance.

"You might know where you want to go, but not know how to get there." He said he wants the high students to know there are people who can help them pursue and fulfill their dreams.

Other speakers for the high school group included Jon Hershey, discussing Brother 2 Brother, a mentoring group for men, Larry James discussing health and wellness, Carlos Calhoun discussing bullying, and featured speaker Marty Williams who spoke towards the end of the submit.

Working with the middle school group was Bryan Canty -- President of New Frontier -- with Tina Brush and Dennis Runnion. The middle school session was interactive with a variety of activities to teach the students leadership and trusting skills.

"We want to equip them with some of the thought processes they need to be leaders," Runnion said.

Your future leaders have to come from somewhere, why not here?" Canty said.

During the session, the group identified great leaders, discussed the characteristics of a good leader, and participated in a blindfold activity where students learned to trust their guide -- other students. Other educational activities included an egg drop and a knots activity.

Previous to the submit, Brush discussed the importance of investing in one's future early; she recommended becoming involved in school groups and community activities that give opportunities to develop and use leadership skills.

"You have to invest in yourself now," she said.

Runnion agreed. "You got to have more than just the grades."

Georgia Highlands acted as a co-sponsor for the summit. "I would like to thank them for letting us use their facility," Washington said. New Frontier, established in 1962, will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

"I want to have a positive impact on the community," Canty said. "If we can reach one, who can reach another ..." He sees the positive impact being exponential. "Pay it forward."

"Leaders are not born, they are made," said Runnion. "Everyone can learn to be a leader."