Wouldn’t it be sick to be able to interact with many different people just like you but also with many differences, all having the same goal? Enter Network New Ulm.
Network New Ulm Youth, a program that helps develop leadership skills, is made up of students from the four New Ulm schools: New Ulm Public, New Ulm Cathedral, Minnesota Valley Lutheran (MVL), and River Bend Area Learning Center. These students meet once a month to learn more about the community and themselves. Network New Ulm Youth is a program that is stretched out all year long with meetings once a month, making a few exceptions. At the September meeting, the students got to know each other with a few activities and guest speakers. Throughout the day the students helped the community by doing service projects.
At the October meeting, the students participated in a community service activity, and also just learning about the city of New Ulm. The program is bettering the knowledge of these students and teaching them to bring leadership skills back to their own schools, and also out to the community members.
To be inducted into Network New Ulm Youth, students must submit an application to a nominating committee, which then decides wh0 they feel would do the most or influence the most people after participating in this program.
“I really enjoy being able to spend a day with my friends from different schools,” Cathedral student Noah Wilmes said. Luke Gieseke, also from CHS, said he enjoyed being able to spend the day with his friends from another school, adding that being able to communicate with other schools builds more social skills.
“I enjoy being a part of Network NU Youth as I feel like I am helping to promote the positive aspects of New Ulm to the youth. I think the program is a great way to learn more about yourself, the community, and meet new people,” said Stacy Merkel, Network New Ulm coordinator.
This past session the students had many different activities learning more about themselves and how to develop leadership qualities much easier. One activity was “colors,” where each person had a book they went through and graded themselves on which qualities or adjectives fit them best. After they added up everything they were able to see what their color represented. This gave them more ideas on how to gain those qualities much easier than if they had no idea.
The second part of the day was really based on teamwork and team-building skills. Rick Rassier was invited to come and participate with the students. Rassier had many different activities that the students participated in. They worked on teamwork more than anything. The activities included a four-way tug of war, crossing a line at the exact same time as everyone else, and trying to help each other solve different kinds of brain puzzles.