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West Hartford Teens Gain Valuable Skills Through Summer Leadership Program

Hope Moustakakis (left) and Nora Farmer. Submitted photo

Two teens from West Hartford note that they gained confidence, independence, and other valuable skills through Leadership Greater Hartford’s Summer Nexus Program.


Have your teenagers or teens you know made summer plans yet? Plans that will help them grow in confidence, independence, and a willingness to give back to their community? A summer experience that will serve them well in college and beyond?

Two teens from West Hartford became leaders over the course of one summer. Nora Farmer from Watkinson School and Hope Moustakakis from Northwest Catholic High School participated in Leadership Greater Hartford’s Summer Nexus program.

“Most of the time, I don’t really like meeting new people, but at this camp I felt like I had to open up and the more I did the more I wanted to open up,” Farmer said.

Summer Nexus is a week-long youth leadership program at Trinity College that gives high school students a chance to broaden their horizons, build relationships with students from different communities, appreciate different points of view, and still be part of something uniquely their own.

Offered in two different sessions each summer, the experience helps young people develop leadership skills that will help them make an impact in their schools and communities. Coming from both urban and suburban schools, Summer Nexus participants build new bonds of trust and friendship through an interactive curriculum and by planning and implementing a community-focused service project.

Farmer and Moustakakis both participated in Session l, where their group partnered with the Community Child Guidance Clinic to help beautify the landscape by securing donations of garden supplies, flowers and monetary contributions. On the day of implementation, the class revitalized the building which included placing over 35 bags of mulch, painted a new sign and various other spring cleaning tasks which helped to transform this building into the bright star that it is.

In 2017 Summer Nexus brought together 36 students from 14 different towns and 23 different high schools. By using the new leadership skills they learned, the high schoolers discovered the difference they could make by working together.

Moustakakis said, “I might not remember exactly what I said on culture day or what food I brought in, but I will remember the feeling of acceptance that was offered to me.”

Summer Nexus 2018 is being offered in either July (July 15 to 21) or August (August 5 to 11). Applications are now being accepted. Financial aid is available based on household income. Visit leadershipgh.org or call 860-951-6161, x1100.

Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH) is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that supports and strengthens the local community by training and connecting aspiring and established leaders. For more information about how to be a participant or sponsor, or to inquire about customized training with Leadership Greater Hartford, call 860-951-6161 (x1200), email i[email protected] visit leadershipgh.org, or follow LGH on Facebook and Twitter @leadershiphtfd.

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