A Sheridan County high school student is recognized nationally for leadership
A Sheridan County high school student has been selected for Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)’s National Student Leadership Council for the 2023-24 school year. Kamryn Michelena, a senior at Arvada-Clearmont High School, joins 16 other students across the country as part of the council.
SADD is a national organization that “empowers and mobilizes students and adult allies to engage in positive change through leadership and smart decision-making.” It has affiliated chapters in states nationwide that are aimed at middle and high school-aged students. It also promotes safety-related initiatives for young people. Michelena said she has participated in SADD since she was in seventh grade.
“We have done many things with it [the local SADD chapter]. We've helped to organize our student safety day at the end of the year for the past couple of years, and then statewide, I serve on our state's Student Leadership Council,” she said. “And then nationally, I am serving on the National Student Leadership Council. And I am the chairman for the traffic safety and mobility committee. And then I've also been on the Text Less Live More board [which advocates for spaces for teens to be away from electronic devices], which is part of that.”
This is the second time Michelena has held a national leadership position after having a positive experience the first time.
“My school advisor, she had, like, encouraged me to apply for [a] national position. And so, I ended up getting one my sophomore year. And then I just fell even more in love with SADD and decided to apply again,” she said.
Wyoming SADD State Coordinator Felicity DeBacco said being selected to the National Student Leadership Council is highly competitive, with thousands of students nationwide vying for a select few positions. The application and selection process Michelena went through was approximately six months.
Michelena hopes to continue her involvement with the organization after she graduates.
“I want to pursue [a career as a] physical therapist,” she said. “But I'd still love to be involved with SADD even when I graduate because I love it.”
Michelena is the only Wyoming student on the council. She will chair SADD’s Traffic Safety Committee and prioritize safe teen driving in addition to serving as regional and national representation for the organization. Her term began on Aug. 1.
“We’re quite proud of her being from such a small populated state, and her ability to do the work that needs to be done to keep her peers safe,” DeBacco said.