One thing is certain: Liz Patton, college representative at Minnesota School of Business-Elk River (MSB), loves her job. She has a strong interest in working with high school students and helping them to succeed.
Helping out students at Ivan Sand Community School who are involved in MAAP (Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs) STARS is “one of my favorite things that I get to do [in my job],” Patton explains.
Patton was asked by Ivan Sand representative, Sue Yankowiak, to join their team in 2013 and recently worked with three students, Hannah Gagliardi, Natalie Wendt and Erin Lehman, as they made their journey through the regional and state competitions.
She was a huge part of the process as she helped them to prepare their speeches and then participated as a judge at both competitions.
What is MAAP STARS? It is a competition league, similar to DECA, for all students at Alternative Learning Center schools across the state. The students prepare presentations about a variety of real-life scenarios ranging from parenting to life skills to their own personal journey to the ALC. The presentation process includes interviewing, team decision making, or students can submit art work or creative writing samples.
The students that Patton worked with focused their presentation on public speaking. Wendt chose to talk about her road to Ivan Sand and Lehman chose to share her personal story which involved facts and statistics about drug and alcohol abuse.
Patton reported that the girls did an amazing job at the competition. Wendt took second overall in Public Speaking and the group took second in another event.
What is next for them? Gagliardi and Lehman are graduating this year but Wendt (a junior) plans to continue on with MAAP STARS next year in hopes of winning first place at next year’s competition.
If you are interested in learning more about MAAP STARS, go to: http://www.maapmn.org/pages/MAAPSTARS.