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Emily Pierson ’09 & ’13G inspires program

Students teach students in leadership development workshop

Providence College students past and present worked together to organize a leadership workshop for students at Pope John Paul II High School in Hyannis, Mass.

Arrangements for the workshop were made by Emily Pierson ’09 & ’13G , who teaches in the Spanish and theology departments at the high school.

Pierson began teaching at Pope John Paul II High School as a member of the Providence College Providence Alliance for Catholic Teaching (PACT) Program in 2011 and received her master’s degree in 2013.

Pierson, who was a Spanish and public and community service studies double major, also was a member of Dirigo as an undergraduate. Dirigo is an honor society for students who have excelled as leaders during their college career.

 Pierson invited current PC students in Dirigo to conduct a leadership workshop for members of Reach Out, a leadership organization for junior and senior students at Pope John Paul II.

 The Dirigo members who led the workshop are Dave O’Connor ’14 (Franklin Square, N.Y.), Lauren O’Loughlin ’14 (Hopkinton, Mass.), Giana Quinterno ’14 (North Providence, R.I.), Dana Shepard ’14 (Sandwich, Mass.), Eleni Stefanatos ’14 (Norwalk, Conn.), and Meagan Sullivan ’14 (Plainville, Mass.).

“I thought it was a perfect opportunity to have college students lead this event, because it can be more meaningful for high school students to hear about peer leadership from them,” said Pierson.

Communication training

The PC students designed and led a four-hour workshop that focused on email etiquette, public speaking, and service. Approximately 35 juniors and seniors attended the workshop, which was held on a Sunday at Pope John Paul II.

“We pulled a lot from our own previous training to teach them about professionalism in life and in social media, and we worked with them on public speaking through skits,” said Sullivan. “It helped us learn by reflecting on our service and training and by giving that experience to other students.”

O’Connor, who also presented at the workshop, met Pierson when he was visiting PC as a high school student. He shadowed her and sat in on one of her Development of Western Civilization classes.

“Whenever a teacher reaches out to you, it shows they’re invested in their students and interested in using their resources,” said O’Connor. “And by this school inviting us, it shows that they want not just to educate, but to develop, students to reach their potential.”

 PC’s community extends beyond its current students, and Pierson’s invitation to Dirigo members shows the connection between alumni and students and how the College community can be utilized, O’Connor said.

 “I have a strong connection to and affinity towards PC,” added Pierson. “The connections you build at PC will last your whole life, and it speaks volumes to the fact that PC prepares leaders and carries out its mission to prepare faithful members of society.”

 — Nick Tavares ’16

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