GORHAM — Maine Youth Leadership (MYL) held its 40th seminar for high school students at the University of Southern Maine campus in Gorham from May 30 to June 2. The four-day program was open to one 10th grade ambassador from each public and private high school in Maine. Over 4,000 students have participated in the program since 1980.

The seminar focused on helping Maine youth build character, leadership skills and civic commitment. Sessions gave students an in-depth understanding of local government, taught them how to foster communication and helped them understand the challenges facing diverse populations. They were led by professionals volunteering their time.

In addition to teaching leadership skills, the program emphasized character-building and developing a passion for volunteerism. Over the past 40 years, student participants have given over 15,000 community volunteer hours during the program and countless volunteer hours on their own after completion.

“Teaching leadership and encouraging volunteerism helps our ambassadors build a basis for a lifetime of community service,” said Jim Cox, founding member of the MYL Board of Directors.

Local area students in attendance were:

• Edward Little High School: Laci Tozier and Molly Vincent;

• Poland Regional High School: Adara Moore;

• Buckfield Junior-Senior High School: Alaina Adderley;

• Leavitt Area High School: Daniel Cifelli; and

• Brunswick High School: Braeden Trefethen.

To learn more, visit www.maineyouthleadership.org, or call 207-221-3196.

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