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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, November 07, 2018 1:00 am

Students take part in leadership event

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

High school sophomores Jason Mendez and Cheyenne Moss are looking forward to Friday – and it's not because Fort Wayne Community Schools has the day off.

The teens will join 98 other FWCS sophomores and juniors for the Pave the Path Leadership Summit, a two-day conference at the University of Saint Francis Business Center in downtown Fort Wayne.

The event was organized by two nonprofit organizations – Believe In A Dream and 4WARD – and supported by a grant from the Schwab Foundation.

Along with hearing from various community leaders, students will develop leadership skills, build their personal brand, identify their strengths and learn about such topics as résumé development and dress etiquette, said Jeff Roberts, 4WARD co-founder and FWCS social studies teacher.

Nearly 30 adults also agreed to mentor the students, Roberts said. Mentors and students will meet Saturday, he said, and they remain in touch afterward.

Participating students were identified by staff at each of Fort Wayne's high schools – Northrop, North Side, Snider, South Side and Wayne.

An equal number of sophomores and juniors and boys and girls were invited, Roberts said, noting they represent the diversity in FWCS.

“That's what will be really exciting,” he said.

Students can also develop a project to better their school or school community, Roberts said. Participants from Wayne have begun meeting, he said, and they have brainstormed ideas, including ways to help students in Wayne's feeder schools.

“They're way ahead of the game,” Roberts said.

Moss and Mendez are eager to meet community leaders at the conference. Moss is also looking forward to further exploring ideas she has addressed in class – her personal brand and goals.

“I can see that, with guidance, they're going to be amazing leaders,” Roberts said.

Visit and for more information about Believe In A Dream and 4WARD.