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Oakside Prep, Canton Prep Scholars Sharpen Leadership Skills at MEMCA Conference

Scholars from Canton Preparatory High School and Oakside Prep Academy had a unique opportunity to sharpen their leadership skills at the Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA) Leadership Conference.
A select group of students made a trip to Ypsilanti, Michigan, for the event, which was held on Eastern Michigan University’s campus. Learning from these opportunities is one reason Canton Prep outperforms surrounding schools in every subject and Oakside Prep has outperformed the local district for seven years.
In the first of two conferences this year, groups were able to give a presentation about their schools and participate in leadership workshops throughout the afternoon. Canton Prep College and Career Readiness Counselor Mira Al-Mahayni said scholars learned more about what kind of leader they were in those breakout sessions.

Scholars presenting about their schools 
“In one room, they were taking an assessment about what kind of leader they were,” Al-Mahayni said. “In another room, they were designing a T-shirt that embodied the conference. They really enjoyed it.”
Scholars also heard from a keynote speaker who spoke to them about the leadership class opportunities at Eastern Michigan University. It was also a chance for students to immerse themselves in the college atmosphere. The conference contingent was taken on a tour of Eastern Michigan University’s campus.
Al-Mahayni said the group of students enjoyed being on a college campus. They also walked away with more knowledge about leadership with the ability to apply those skills.
“They really enjoyed the workshops,” Al-Mahayni said. “They got to meet other kids by force, by default because they didn't have each other to sit and talk to so by default they ended up making some friendships. They enjoyed learning different aspects of their own leadership skills. They gained some more knowledge about themselves as a leader and how they want to portray themselves.”
The MEMCA experience is not over, however. The same group of scholars will be heading to another conference in the spring. Al-Mahayni said she thinks the activities will be different from the fall conference, but she is confident it will be a productive experience.
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About Oakside Prep Academy
Oakside Prep Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Waterford, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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