Seaford's Caden Dickerson attends National Leadership Conference

By Scott Bleile

Seaford High School's Caden Dickerson was one of nine students who served as Delaware's ambassadors at the 2018 National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) National Leadership Conference held in Indianapolis, Ind., on July 23-25. The trip was sponsored by the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA). The summit presented an opportunity for the Delaware team to participate in leadership and sportsmanship activities that they used as part of the DIAA Student Leadership Conference which was held in Lewes from Aug. 3-5.

Dickerson, who will be a senior this fall at SHS, is the son of Marc and Marybeth Dickerson. He is the senior class president and a member of the baseball and swim teams, National Honor Society, Business Persons of America and 4H. He has a few colleges in mind but has not decided where he will attend college next fall.

"It was a great trip to Indianapolis and I learned quite a bit about leadership," said Dickerson. "It was all based around student involvement in leadership. We went to seminars which had us work together to solve problems. It was trying to show how to not only be a leader, but to also teach others to be leaders. Leadership is something many people struggle with and I hope I can use this on my sports teams and in other school activities to be a positive influence on others."

Dickerson also attended the DIAA Leadership Conference held at Cape Henlopen Virden Center at the beginning of August. DIAA changed this year's agenda to focus on more student-led activities. Five of the students who attended the NFHS Student Leadership Summit in Indianapolis formed the student-leadership team at the DIAA Leadership Conference. The team chose the theme "Brave" for the weekend's activities. Students and adults led breakout sessions which focused on being brave.

The sessions covered leadership, team captaincy, sportsmanship, fitness and perseverance. There were daily fitness sessions emphasizing agility and yoga-based exercises. This year's service project was a Saturday afternoon visit to Camp Barnes where the students were paired with Special Olympics athletes in a series of physical challenges, sporting games and craft activities.

"The conference in Lewes allowed us to pass on what we learned at the national conference," Dickerson continued. "There were 30 other students from all over the state, who worked together on solving problems and how we can pass on this information. I met a lot of great people and we discussed many great topics that each will take back to their school. One difference I noticed was how different the downstate schools are from the upstate schools; not in a bad way, they just look at topics different than we do. It was great to see a different point of view."

The students, along with their schools, who attended the conference in Lewes are: Jessica Crawford, Caesar Rodney; Colleen Sheridan, Caravel; Amelia Christensen, Concord; Julie Kulesza, Conrad; Maddie Kuennen, DMA; David Nichols, Glasgow; Kris Thompson, Lake Forest; Elya Niblett, Laurel; Nadiyah Fisher, Middletown; Grace Sekscinski, Milford; Ayanna Obey, Mt. Pleasant; Emma Ueltzhoffer and Nathan Jones, Newark Charter; Cameron Smith, Sanford; Ayanna Cannon and Caden Dickerson, Seaford; Connor Rock, St. Elizabeth's; Jack Faust, Sussex Academy; Grace Wenzel, Tower Hill; Caroline Taylor and Jane Lyons, Ursuline; Madison Johnson, Wilmington Christian; Craig Lyttletown, Friends; and Kyle Hensley, Woodbridge.

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