Successful Student-Run Service Symposium

On November 2, St. Luke’s Center for Leadership (CFL) held its annual Upper School Service Symposium. Planning for this year’s Symposium began over the summer when CFL interns, Caroline Nevin ‘18 and Jack Halsey ‘18, arranged the schedule and speakers for the day. Director of Character Education Kate Parker-Burgard who supervised the symposium said, “They did a great job creating an event to heighten empathy of those in need and expand awareness about various local service opportunities.”

Midnight Run Executive Director Dale Williams was the keynote speaker and shared his own experience of going from a comfortable upbringing to being homeless in NYC to his present position. Williams shared, “I thought I knew what it was like to be hungry, cold, dirty and lonely but being homeless, I experienced all of those in such extreme ways I never knew were possible.” He then went on to give detailed descriptions of some of his harrowing experiences.  His engaging and powerful presentation quickly deepened the audience’s understanding of how a person might become homeless and how it feels to be homeless.

The afternoon had Upper School students attending two workshops with various nonprofit groups. The students were matched with their top choices from 25 different local organizations. The symposium concluded with everyone hearing presentations from four Upper School students sharing their own service experiences. Jack Thies ‘18 spoke about his work with the Wolf Conservation Center. Ashley Kelley ‘20 discussed her family’s experience fostering children. Carolina Warneryd ‘19 shared stories about her service work with children in Guatemala, and Elizabeth Laub ‘18 talked about how she became a New Canaan EMT. Their passion for their service work was evident and infectious.

As Service Symposium co-organizer Caroline Nevin stated, “I believe that we can change the world one step at a time and that begins with the younger generations. Being a part of this symposium made me feel proud to belong to the St. Luke’s community and I hope that this day of service inspired others as much as it inspired me.”

View the CFL Service Symposium photo gallery.

Students interested in more information about service opportunities should contact Director of Character Education Kate Parker-Burgard.
St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.