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Stewart's Shops Supports Program for High Schoolers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Stewart's Shops is supporting LeaderSpark, a program that teaches teens leadership skills.

The c-store operator's contribution has led has enabled volunteers from the Saratoga County League of Women Voters to work with 30 high school students who were recommended by teachers at county school districts, according to a report by the Times Union.

Jane Weihe, who helped the league bring LeaderSpark to the county four years ago, told the newspaper students learn how to run a meeting, how to present themselves publicly and how to deal with difficult personalities. Although the league is typically associated with political events, such as hosting candidates' debates and monitoring government meetings, Weihe said direct discussion of politics is not on the syllabus. "But we want kids to be active citizens," she said.

A student is chosen from the LeaderSpark group to represent the Saratoga chapter of the league at "Students Inside Albany," a program that immerses students in Capitol politics for four days each spring. The teens shadow legislators and learn how state government, the media and lobbyists work.

Each teenage participant puts together a community action plan for contributing to each student's school, town or the global community.

State Farm also contributed to LeaderSpark.

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