Oak Ridge Youth Leadership: Students learn to lead and serve the community.

The Oak Ridge Youth Association enables young people to give back to their community and grow as leaders. On Nov. 21, 2018, they hosted a flag football game at the Oak Ridge town park for the community to enjoy.

Photo by Justin Eiben

The Oak Ridge Youth Association enables young people to give back to their community and grow as leaders. On Nov. 21, 2018, they hosted a flag football game at the Oak Ridge town park for the community to enjoy.

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Over the last school year and through last summer, a group of teenagers in Oak Ridge have taken upon themselves the role of giving back to their community in impactful ways and improving their personal leadership skills. Many of the students involved in this organization also happen to go to Northwest.

The Oak Ridge Youth Association and the Teen Leadership Program (a branch of the ORYA) and seek to engage the community in fun, meaningful activities while also improving the leadership qualities of those involved with the ORYA. Some of their past events have included a flag football game in November and a Fortnite tournament last December.

“The oak ridge youth association is an organization where we host events that involve the youth of oak ridge,” sophomore and photographer for the ORYA, Trinity De Risio said. “I like being a part of the organization because my leadership skills have grown a lot, I feel like a better person because of the ORYA.”

Every member is very happy to be part of the team and enjoy planning events with their friends. They all agree it’s a very valuable group to be a part of and encourage other members to join.

“I would recommend others,” sophomore and official treasurer of the ORYA Kyle Eiben said  “There’s a lot of volunteer hours that can be acquired and we are able to give back to our community. It would also look great for college.”

The ORYA teen leadership mostly creates different events for ORYA and help out with the community. The teens meet up with the supervision of ORYA director Tom Collins every alternating Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and come up with fun events and help organize fundraisers.

“We’ve created lots of events,” Eiben said. “We did a football event, a basketball tournament and we also help out with sports and events that are already running. I’ve helped by doing recreational soccer stuff for volunteer hours along with the other members.”

There are about 30 individuals involved in ORYA teen leadership including senior Justin Eiben as president, sophomore Andrea Alecse as vice president, and sophomore CJ Anunnziato as secretary. But the ORYA stretches out and includes even more members who don’t even attend Northwest.

“The Oak Ridge Youth Association is a great way to earn service hours by helping plan events in Oak Ridge we either go by Oak Ridge Youth Association or Teen Leadership,” sophomore Nick Gervasi said. “I would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy and fun way to earn service hours and improved leadership skills.”

On April 13th, the ORYA plans to host a 3×3 basketball tournament. If you are interested in this, a signup and more information can be found at the link below this article. You can also follow them on social media for periodic updates and future ways to get involved at their instagram: @oakridge_youth_association or on snapchat: @oakridge_youth

“I really think people should consider coming,” De Risio said. “It’s a great thing to be a part of and a lot of fun too!”

3×3 basketball tournament signup and information: http://www.tinyurl.com/ORYAregistration

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