Woodland Worldwide Strives to “Explore, Educate, Empower”

In a school day dominated by Geometry, English, or Physics, students do not often get the opportunity to learn how to make an impact in the world.

Learning how to differentiate fake news from real news, address gender stereotypes, and maintain a positive attitude were hallmarks of the Explore, Educate, Empower Conference held by Woodland Worldwide and the Social Studies Department on Thursday, December 8th at Woodland Regional High School.

Meghan Geary interacts with attendees during registration.

Advisors Megan Geary and Lisa Olivere hoped the words “Explore, Educate, Empower” would encourage students to be open to different ideas, take in new information, and use that knowledge to empower themselves and others. The E3 Conference included innovative workshops offered by a number of teachers, Woodland alumni, and community members taught throughout the day. The thirteen courses encompassed courses a variety of topics, some chosen or requested by Woodland Worldwide members.

“We firmly believe it is vital to explore the world through many lenses, because doing so not only educates us, but empowers us,” as stated in the conference program.

Students from West Haven High School attended as well. Geary and Olivere believed it was extremely beneficial to the student body to hear new voices and she hopes to invite more schools and students from Woodland to participate in years to come.

“We hope the conference was successful enough that it warrants expansion in the future,” said Geary.

Senior Chris Lauck, who has attended many conferences previous through student government, commends Woodland Worldwide for running such a successful event. He said he views the world in a different perspective after being exposed to the status of hygiene for girls in third world countries. He mentions that there are always ways to improve.

Students create hygiene kits for girls in Kenya.

“Failure can always be turned into a learning perspective,” said Lauck.

Sophomore Kaylee Walsh thoroughly enjoyed learning about many different themes that inspired her to take action in her life.

“I was really happy to see the way it turned out and the way it carried out the overall themes,” said Walsh.

Walsh’s overall takeaway was that we all have a passion and a purpose and is now more confident in her ability to achieve her dreams.

“It was helpful to receive the encouragement to turn off the voice in my head telling me I cannot achieve my goals,” said Walsh.

Advisors Geary and Olivere hope this event sparked the minds of young students and exposed them to things they don’t always learn in everyday classes.

Geary said, “The more you know, the healthier you will be and the more you can do.”