Five Saint Viator students participated in the National Student Leadership Conference this summer, where three were led, in part, by another Saint Viator graduate.
Ludovica Garro ’17, Matthew Gryzlo ’16, Paulina Piwowarczyk ’17, Alex Scheidecker ’16, and Kaitlyn Solarz ’17 all attended the interactive conference, which has been offering leadership and academic opportunities to high achieving students, for more than 25 years.
Also involved in the conference was Paul Lewis, a 2014 Saint Viator High School graduate who currently is in his junior year at Harvard University. He served as an assistant team advisor for students following the medicine and health care track at the same conference session Gryzlo, Piwowarczyk and Solarz attended at Northwestern University.
“These sessions are career-oriented,” Paul said, “and help students explore the possibilities of their goals and dreams for the future.”
Saint Viator students followed three different tracks at the conference. Gryzlo participated in the engineering program, where he was involved in a hands-on project of building an above-water and underwater robot that could retrieve items.
While Scheidecker attended the program at Harvard Medical School and Piwowarczyk at Northwestern, they both attended the medicine and health care sessions. As part of the program, they dissected parts of animals, watched a live heart surgery and engaged in clinical diagnostic situations. Piwowarczyk also heard from a
surgeon about medical ethics and learned more about medical school admissions from a counselor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Garro will attend the same program at Northwestern in August.
Solarz participated in the business and entrepreneurship program, where she examined case studies of successful Chicago start-ups, developed her own product and presented a strategy for its success, sat in on a management team simulation, and just learned what it takes to build and grow a business.
“The conference gives students an opportunity to break out of their comfort zone,” Paul added. “They stayed on a college campus and experienced dorm life for 10 days.
“They had to wear professional attire for many of the activities, he adds, “and they met students from around the country and around the world with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.”
In his mind, it affirms what it means to be a Lion for Life.
“They all made an investment in their futures,” Paul said. “Now, they can take the information they learned, find an application for it and produce a transformation in themselves, in others and in the world.”