NH Students Attend Regional, National Leadership Conferences

This summer, a group of NH student-athletes took advantage of regional and national student leadership opportunities. Sara Bresslin and Ben Hagstrom, Life of an Athlete NH Co-Directors, accompanied the students to two conferences. 

From July 16-19, students from Timberlane, Nashua South, Fall Mountain, Sanborn, Hinsdale, and Salem attended the New England Student Leadership Conference (NESLC), hosted by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) at Worcester State University. Over 200 students attended this conference, coming from all over New England (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont). 

This conference features outstanding keynote speakers, as well as breakout sessions run by adult and college student facilitators. Our own Sara Bresslin served as an adult facilitator for a breakout session on sportsmanship and respect. The other topics of the breakout sessions were positive values and perspective, and teamwork and healthy lifestyles. 

Keynote speakers included Deb Hult and James Orrigo, both of whom have served as speakers at our New Hampshire Student Leadership Conference in past years. Omari Pearson, Harvey Alston, and Eddie Slowikowski also gave inspirational keynote speeches. 

All the students participated in a community service project. Sara, Ben, and all the NH students were at local elementary schools, preparing the buildings for the upcoming school year. They helped clean the schools and helped teachers set up their classrooms. The community service projects proved to be very rewarding for the students, as they were able to put into action all the things they talked about in breakout sessions. 

One of the main objectives of NESLC is to meet as a state and come up with an action plan to bring home and implement after the conference. Sara and Ben assisted the group of students in coming up with a Student Ambassador Program they would like to implement here in NH. The plan includes each school having two ambassadors to attend meetings, both in-person and via video conference, throughout the school year. These ambassadors would help plan regional summits, have open and honest discussions with one another about sportsmanship, and help each other through challenges they are facing as leaders at their schools. The students presented their plan to the entire conference and did a great job!

As always, we are in awe of the amount of time and effort the MIAA puts in every year to make this a worth-while conference for our students. Huge thanks to the MIAA for all that they do! Here's a video recap of NESLC19! 



The following week, Sara, Ben, and two members of the NHIAA Student Leadership Committee, Katelin and Theresa, headed west to attend the National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) hosted by the National Federation of High School State Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, IN. Overall 140 students from 34 states and two Canadian provinces attended NSLS at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis. 

NH students Katelin and Theresa did a great job representing our state at this National event. They attended breakout sessions on topics including positive team culture, inclusion and perspective, and building relationships. Omari Pearson, Deb Hult, and Harvey Alston were also presenters at NSLS, as well as keynote speaker Adrienne Bulinski, and breakout session leaders Gregory Dale and Kevin Ringhofer, Ph.D. 

NSLS also features a community service day. This year, students traveled to nearby Plainfield High School for a Unified Sports experience. This students were able to interact with athletes through join competitions and shared athletic experiences. This experience allowed Katelin and Theresa to put into action the things they learned in the inclusion and perspective breakout session. 

We thank the NFHS for hosting and putting on a great conference!

Sara and Ben were very impressed with Katelin, Theresa, and all the students who attended NESLC19. The students did a great job representing NH with great pride and were engaged participants through both conferences. We can't wait to see these young leaders in action this year!

To see more photos from NESLC19 and NSLS19, head over to the Life of an Athlete NH Facebook page and check out the album by clicking here!

There are a number of student leadership opportunities for NHIAA students available throughout the school year. Head over to the Life of an Athlete page to find more opportunities. Sara and Ben can also help coordinate local or regional trainings at NHIAA schools. They can be reached at sbresslin@nhiaa.org or bhagstrom@nhiaa.org or by calling the NHIAA Office at 603-228-8671.