Saints succeed

Cate Tuker, Assistant News Editor

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Years of leadership, integrity and perseverance have paid off, literally and figuratively, for five Xavier students. Starting on September 16 to September 19, 39 Xavier students participated in the National Council of Youth Leadership (NCYL) conference, and over 225 students around the area participated as well. The “Youth Salute” program recognizes seniors who are leaders in their school and who give back to their community. The conference was held at Kirkwood and Mount Mercy. Awards were given at Coe College.

Out of the 39 Xavier students, five were awarded with scholarships: Audrey Dempewolf and Kirsten Smith won the Ambassador Scholarship, Sara Noronha won the Whalen Family Scholarship, Evan Lemker won the Kepros Physical Therapy and Performance Leader of Promise Scholarship, and Chloe Kepros won the Kocourek Foundation Leader in Excellence Award. Kepros was also awarded an all expense paid trip to St. Louis, Missouri at Washington University for the National NCYL conference.

“For me, leadership is centered around empathy. I try to come from a place of understanding in everything I do. Recently, I became involved with Iowa March for Our Lives and its been really rewarding to work with other students who want to become involved in our world as well,” Kepros said. “I’m excited to continue to have opportunities to lead at Xavier during my senior year.”

NCYL provides students the opportunity to meet other students from the area who have made an impact in their school.

“I really enjoyed this conference because I got to meet different people  and see how they are a leader in their community,” senior Emily O’Rourke said. “It’s inspiring to see what they have done and learn how they have made  a positive impact in their school.”

Similar to O’Rourke’s perspective, many young men and women hope to make a cultural impact of greatness in their community, and the annual NCYL allows recognition for just a few who have demonstrated this message.

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