Packers host “Empower” leadership event for NE Wisconsin middle school students

Since 2015, the Green Bay Packers have hosted a leadership event for middle school students in...
Since 2015, the Green Bay Packers have hosted a leadership event for middle school students in Northeast Wisconsin called "Empower".(Samantha Cavalli, WBAY)
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 3:40 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - On Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers hosted its annual “Empower” leadership event. The event welcomed 260 middle school students throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

“Empower” is to encourage students to get inspired about becoming a leader within their homes, schools, and communities.

Throughout the event, the students and their educators participated in presentations to learn more about character, self-care, mental health, and making a difference.

“This event I’ve gotten to see it from its infancy stages through today,” said West De Pere Counselor Laura Karlen. “Since 2015 this event has been going on in Brown County when the Packers were doing outreach in other counties in the state and realized ‘we’ve got stuff we can be doing right here on our home turf’.”

“Empower” welcomes two keynote speakers who talk to the students about being their best selves, taking accountability, and how to make their community better. Karlen said the keynote speaker spoke to the students about being useful, asking the question ‘what are you doing yourself to do things for your community and the people around you that make it a better place?’

“I love that the Packers are willing to work with our youth and it just grows our community,” Karlen said. “When we’re empowering kids to be their best selves it’s just going to make Green Bay a better place and Brown County a better place.”

Dawson Smet and Alejandro Gonzalez from Redstone Middle School, and Mason Vande Hey from Wrightstown Middle School learned different leadership skills through “Empower” that they hope to take back with them to their communities.

“It’s pretty cool how they reach out to all these different schools and show kids different ways of learning leadership,” Smet said.

“I learned leadership skills and that there is always a reason to keep going and look forward,” Gonzalez said.

“I learned how to help the community through all the tough times and stuff and how t be a leader through everything,” Vande Hey said.