Area student selected for national leadership conference
MUNCY – It’s going to be a very special week for Malik Wertman, a student at Muncy Junior/Senior High School. For he was chosen, nominated and accepted to attend a National Young Leaders State Conference in Harrisburg. This Friday his parents will be driving him down for a much anticipated youth leadership experience.
Malik, who is a member of the Future Business Leaders Association at Muncy was selected by his teacher, Heather Zimmerman, who is also the student advisor for the FBLA. She told him that he has definite leadership potential, and only outstanding students from across the nation will take part in this unique opportunity that will be held in 30 cities. “He is a good leader, and not influenced by others,” she said.
The theme is ‘Courageous Leadership’ and the four day program will focus on building scholars to take an “introspective and highly personalized assessment of their leadership skills and abilities.”
Malik believes he was chosen because he said he was always prompting his classmates to stay on task, and that he enjoys helping others achieve success as well. Malik also related that while attending the conference, he will be building a toolkit of working strategies to help implement plans that will change how he views his role as a leader in his community. “Each day I will have a schedule to follow,” he explained. A student led ceremony will begin on the first day. He said he also took a survey to assess his strengths and inner needs which also helped to determine his eligibility. He will return to Muncy with a network of supporters and knowing a lot more about himself. He will learn how to set goals and establish them, how to work in groups and build teams, how to communicate with more confidence, and how to give an effective presentation.
Malik will be entering 9th grade and hopes to go into the ROTC program while in college. He has career aspirations of becoming a corrections officer, following his father’s footsteps who is a counselor. “I like to build things and do things with my hands,” he said. His mother, Melissa Fair Wertman, said that as a young child, he would always try to figure out how things work. “He had to raise the money himself to go to this conference,” she said.
Malik is excited to be staying at the Hilton during the conference. “I got lots of support from family members,” Malik said. “They are very excited about this.” His family sees him as a leader in his school and community. “He will be a better leader after this,” said his mother who reassured her son that he will come back with a lot of feedback. “In fact, his name means ‘a leader’ “, she added, “a leader to follow Christ.”
Malik also contributed his support from other teachers at school. “Mrs. Schaeffer and Mr. Wallis also helped him with references to get him into the conference. Malik likes to play all kinds of sports and run 5 K’s. He plays football, wrestling, baseball, golf and joined the track team. He recently ran the Irv Zablocky race at the Muncy Lawn Party last month and placed in his age category. While in 8th grade, he was nominated to ‘Who’s Who’ for American students. He is also a Boy Scout, Troop 70.
Malik Wertman said he is looking forward to meeting new people from all over. Over 300 young people are expected. Wertman is the only one from this area.
His parents both graduated from Hughesville High School in 1992.