The Louisiana Youth Seminar is a leadership camp designed for high school juniors and seniors. LYS was founded on the belief that if businesses, communities, and government are to have effective leaders in the future, we must help our students to develop their core leadership skills such as effective communication, setting and achieving goals.
After one last time singing our theme songs - “Brother” by Need to Breathe and “No Man is an Island” (and the LYS fight song), everyone shared some bittersweet goodbyes. As LYS 2017 comes to a close and we leave the Union, remember that just because seminar is over does not mean that it’s out of your life! LYS does not end on Friday afternoon; it’s something that stays with you forever. It is in the lessons you learn that you take back to your schools and your communities. It is in the true friendships that you made that will continue for years to come. It is the comfort in knowing that you can be accepted for being yourself and so much more!
We encourage you to live everyday as if you were at LYS (well, maybe not the cheering part). We hope that you never forget your experience here and what you learned about yourself and others. Those are the lessons, moments, friendships, and memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
The 2017 Staff would like to thank each and every delegate for making this week such a success! Now, go back to your communities, apply what you learned, make a difference, and never forget ”NO MAN IS AN ISLAND!”
Pete Croughan is Policy Director at the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). LDH is the state’s largest agency with a budget of $14 billion, encompassing the Offices of Public Health, Behavioral Health, Aging and Adult Services, Developmental Disabilities, and the Medicaid Program. He works with the Secretary and Senior Staff to spearhead quality improvement and policy initiatives that span multiple agencies within the department. He also researches and produces policy analyses for internal quality improvement, the governor’s office, and external stakeholders. Current initiatives include addressing Hepatitis C drug pricing, reducing opioid overdoses, exploring individual market stabilization policies, simplifying preferred drug lists and pharmaceutical requirements, designing a Medicaid expansion study, and analyzing the impact of federal health reform on Louisiana.
Originally from Crowley in Southwest Louisiana, Pete graduated from Yale University with a major in History of Science and Medicine. He then served as a Health Policy Research Associate at PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for two years where he helped academic clinicians increase the real-world impact of their research. He then completed three years at University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine. In those three years he served on the Admissions Interview Committee, worked with Mental Illness Among Us to raise awareness, and was elected to represent all 3000 UCSF students as President of the Graduate and Professional Student Association. He is currently on leave from medical school to serve his home state in this role.
MEET DONALD CRAVINS, JR.Donald Cravins, Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the Washington Bureau at National Urban League
Don Cravins, Jr. serves as the National Urban League’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the Washington Bureau. Cravins leads the development of the National Urban League’s policy, research, and advocacy agenda, while expending the organization’s impact and influence inside the Capital Beltway.
Since 1998, Cravins has been a practicing attorney and a member of the Louisiana Bar Association. In 2004, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. In 2006, Cravins was elected to the Louisiana Senate. During his tenure in the Louisiana Senate, Cravins was heavily involved in post-Hurricane Katrina issues as the Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee and was an active member of the Juvenile Justice Commission of Louisiana.
Cravins also served as Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and as Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.
Cravins is a native of Southwest Louisiana; a graduate of Teurlings Catholic High, Louisiana State University and Southern University Law Center.
Don attended LYS in 1988 and 1989 and served on LYS staff from 1990-1997. Don has also been named to the LYS Hall of Fame and he serves as a member of the LYS Advisory Committee.
He is married to Attorney Yvette Puckett Cravins and they have three children, 2nd Year JC Dominique, Trey and Chloe.
MEET DR. ADREN WILSON Dr. Adren O. Wilson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor John Bel Edwards
Dr. Adren Wilson is a talented national leader committed to equity and justice. He currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor John Bel Edwards. Most recently, Dr. Wilson served as the national CEO of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps national service program.
A native of rural Louisiana who himself grew up in extreme poverty, Dr. Wilson has held an escalating series of leadership positions as a national CEO, community leader, administrator, and reformer working to lift individuals, families, and communities out of poverty.
Prior to joining Public Allies in 2014, he led workforce development and community college retention efforts as Gulf Coast Regional Director for Single Stop USA. Previously, he developed transformational leaders for public schools as Executive Director of New Leaders Greater New Orleans; worked to end persistent poverty in the South by leading the Equity and Inclusion Campaign; and as National Director of Youth and Student Leadership at The Children’s Defense Fund.
Wilson earned a Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and he has a doctorate in Public Policy from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Southern University. He received Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Wilson is also a member of the LYS family, having been honored as a Roddy Richard Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 2001.
MEET WALTER "WALT" J. LEGER, III Walt Leger, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives and State Rep, District 91
Walter “Walt” J. Leger III is Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Representative for New Orleans’ District 91. He is also a civil litigator with the law firm of Leger & Shaw, where he has practiced law since 2006.
He is a proud graduate of Louisiana State University and Tulane Law School. Following law school, Walt served as a felony prosecutor in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office, where he earned a reputation as a skilled and fair-minded prosecutor. In the fall of 2007, Walt was first elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives and then re-elected without opposition in 2011 and 2015.
He was unanimously chosen by his colleagues to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2012 and again in 2016, the youngest member to ever hold this position. Walt has many legislative achievements he is proud of, including the creation of the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Program and the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund.
He is committed to making New Orleans and Louisiana a better place to live, especially as he and his wife, Danielle, raise their two young daughters, Cate and Caroline.
“In order to lead you must listen, learn from those around you, and always be willing to serve others, especially in the realm of politics. Above everything, regardless of political affiliation, an accomplished leader is one who is seen as a trustworthy face in a room where nothing is absolute.”
MEET MAYOR PRESIDENT SHARON WESTON BROOME
Sharon Weston Broome was sworn in as the Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish on January 2 of 2017. She is the first woman to be elected as the leader of our capital city of Louisiana. Since the campaign trail, her focus has been to unite the citizenry around the common goals of equality in education, economic development, justice, housing, and other quality ways of life.
Prior to her current post, Broome served as a Baton Rouge Metro Council Member; Louisiana State Representative; and Louisiana State Senator. While in the legislature, she became the first woman to be elected by her peers as Speaker Pro Tempore and President Pro Tempore of the House and Senate.
Mayor-President Broome is a member of Star Hill Church, and is happily married to Marvin Broome. They are the proud parents of three children and three grandchildren.
The 47th Louisiana Youth Seminar is off to a great start! Each day we will provide a wrap up of the day with links to photo albums of all of the day's activities. Please check our social media outlets for live updates as the seminar progresses:
Delegates were divided into "home groups" where they met their Counselor and Junior Counselor and ate lunch with their home group members. Meet our staff here
The 2017 Seminar officially kicked off with Opening Convocationwhere we first experience the power and enthusiasm of LYS. The convocation included:
Welcome to LYS by Executive Director Dr. Sonja Pruitt-Lord
Introduction of the LYS Theme Song- "No Man Is An Island"
Presentation of the '71 Club Inductees for 2017 - Tammy Little, Barry Klein, Kal Laviolette, and Lynn Livingston for their support of LYS throughout the decades.
A crowd favorite, the JC Dance, a hilarious skit by Head Table and much more...
After some more time with our home groups, getting to know each other a little better, we returned to the ballroom for Mixer. During Mixer the delegates had the chance to experience what the LYS motto, “No Man is an Island” really means as they participated in some fun group bonding activities including: trust exercises with other delegates they had not met before, small group discussions led by staff members, and conversations amongst themselves about their goals and dreams. With music, laughter and great conversations echoing throughout the ballroom, Mixer brought the whole delegation closer and the first night to an exciting end.
Before bed, Home Groups are convening to make costumes and roll call cheers for tomorrow.
THIS JUST IN: Head Table just surprised the delegates with news that they have to create a banner with their color, mascot, symbol, and theme which they picked during home group time earlier this afternoon!
Will Syll, LYS Program Director
Will is a Covington, LA native and graduate of St. Paul's School and Louisiana State University. In his non-LYS life, Will teaches science in the Baton Rouge Teach for America program. His message for the delegates is this: If you knew you could not fail, what new things would you try? What great things could you accomplish? What talents might you discover? I invite each of you to approach this week with attempting to discover all you can about yourself, because at LYS you truly cannot fail. You will be amazed at the personal growth and discovery that can occur in just one short week. I challenge you to be open-minded, have fun and give this week your all. I promise you will not be disappointed.
WHO WANTS THE FLAG? Every day Head Table will award "Group of the Day" to the group with the most spirit that travels the best and works well together all day. The group will then receive the coveted LYS Flag (you can spot it in pictures throughout the week). The winning group is in charge of the flag until the next Group of the Day is announced the following evening, but there’s a catch! Group members often find themselves eating, cheering, and even sleeping with the flag because if they aren’t touching the flag for even one second, delegates from any other group can come and steal the flag. So Group of the Day must hold that flag closely!
Want to stay in touch? Regular updates will be made on the LYS Facebook Page- LYS-Louisiana Youth Seminar - Like our page to see the latest updates as the week progresses and for leadership updates throughout the year. We will keep you posted and post pictures throughout the week!