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The "LEAD" Program
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BETHEL PARK, Pa. - It's not unusual for District Judge Ron Arnoni to see teenagers facing vaping related charges in his Bethel Park courtroom. Now he's working to change that across Allegheny County through a program challenging students to make the right decisions.
"I want them to be leaders, not followers," said Arnoni.
It's a message he's delivering to hundreds of students at a time through his LEAD program. LEAD which stands for leadership, education, accountability and direction.
The program tackles a wide variety of topics, from social media to the impact of opioids and marijuana use.
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Program Presented in Upper St. Clair
Addresses Making Good Choices For Future
Bitter fifty-somethings who ruminate on why life didn’t work out quite right tend to revisit their formative years and mull the choices they made at the time. If only someone would have explained how what they did then could have repercussions for decades to come.
Or more accurately, if only they’d have taken that someone seriously.
Enter District Judge Ronald Arnoni and 2008 Upper St. Clair High School graduate Brad Killmeyer, who are making a concerted effort to steer teens toward futures of fulfillment, and in Arnoni’s case, help steer them clear of his Bethel Park courtroom.
Their initiative, Leadership Development LLC, features a program called LEAD that focuses on providing information on an array of topics that can influence young people.
“We spent months and months and months putting this program together for you. That’s what it’s really about,” Arnoni explained at a recent LEAD assembly for ninth-and 10th-graders at Upper St. Clair High School. “The decisions you make are going to decide where you go in your future.”
Along with decision-making, at the core of the presentation are four other D’s worth of concepts: direction, distractions, discipline and development. The bulk of the program concentrates on the second of those, with discussions of long-standing issues such as drug and alcohol use augmented by talk about distractions that have arisen in the 21st century, including e-cigarettes and the negative aspects of social media.
During the Upper St. Clair assembly, Arnoni and Killmeyer interspersed their dialogue with videos they selected to be of particular relevance to teen audience members.
Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Community Magazine
LEAD Assembly at Brentwood
Social media, drugs and alcohol, bullying…these are all issues that can present challenges for kids as they navigate through their teenage years.
Allegheny County District Judge Ron Arnoni and National Youth Speaker and author Brad Killmeyer addressed each of these topics during a recent presentation for students in grades 8-12 at Brentwood Middle/High School. As a Brentwood graduate and former mayor of Brentwood, Judge Arnoni told the students that he feels a special obligation to help them make good decisions and avoid the negative consequences that poor
decisions can bring.
Judge Arnoni and Mr. Killmeyer recently established the LEAD program to “inspire students to achieve their goals.” The acronym LEAD stands for Leadership, Education, Accountability, and Direction. During the assembly, Judge Arnoni and Mr. Killmeyer used statistics, videos, and real-life situations to educate the students about the impact that their decisions can have on themselves as well as their friends and families. In addition to discussing the dangers of negative behaviors, Judge Arnoni and Mr. Killmeyer also presented the students with the 5 D’s that they consider “Keys to Success”: Direction, Distractions, Decisions, Discipline, and Development.
After the presentation, the students had an opportunity to ask questions of the guest speakers. When asked his favorite part of being a judge, Mr. Arnoni responded that this position provides him with an opportunity to help people. By taking time to meet with students across the region to present the LEAD program, Judge Arnoni and Mr. Killmeyer are certainly making an effort help students to be their best!
The Bethel Park Chronicles
To further help families educate themselves and their children, we created what we call our “LEAD Manual.” It’s a proprietary and comprehensive resource to get informed about the risks of drugs, alcohol and social media. The manual includes the 5 D’s to success (Direction, Distractions, Decisions, Discipline and Development), Real-Life Scenarios and LEAD Challenges. It’s critical to know that you are never alone when a crisis occurs, and help is always available.
You can download our "LEAD" Manual using this link www.ourleadfamily.com/the-lead-manual
Judge Ron Arnoni Hosts Knowledgeable Scouts for Visit
Judge Arnoni was impressed with what the scouts already know about civics, and he was glad to provide further information for the youngsters and adults accompanying them about his job.
Judge Arnoni said his approach to justice tends to be proactive.
“I believe in trying to help people. Now, there are times that we have to impart penalties on people. There are times that I have to put people in jail,” he said. “It’s part of our job, to keep the community safe and to also impart justice. And I try to do that as fairly as possible, giving people the benefit of the doubt.”
LEAD is a three-tiered program that covers drugs (including vaping), alcohol, and social media, and also teaches students leadership skills. Programmed as a 60-minute assembly, it currently targets seventh through 12th graders and their families. Recently, colleges and universities have been inquiring how LEAD can assist their staff in preventing problems on their campuses.
To help students learn about this life-changing information, we apply several scientifically-proven teaching techniques, including visualization, mapping, and inquiry-based learning. Students remain acutely attentive during the program due to its one-of-a-kind, back-and-forth con-tent delivery, along with powerful short videos.
District Judge Ron Arnoni presents
"Leadership in Action" Scholarships
Judge Arnoni was pleased to make the acquaintance of two high school seniors for the purpose of recognizing their achievements, presenting the first Judge Arnoni Leadership In Action scholarships to Owen Mann of Upper St. Clair and Toby Roule of Bethel Park.
The scholarships are given in conjunction with Leadership Development LLC, founded by Arnoni and Upper St. Clair High School graduate Brad Killmeyer with the goal of steering students toward lives of fulfillment.
“We want to recognize you and your generation and the young people in our community, because you’re the next leaders,” Arnoni said while presenting Roule with his award at Bethel Park High School.
"LEAD" Program Showcased on
HEROS Radio Show
HEROS is a show dedicated to shining light on the great things going on right here in local neighborhoods, and the people that are making it happen. We are honored to be a guest for the second time. You can listen to our entire interview below.
The Judge Ron Arnoni Leadership
in Action Scholarships
In 2021, Arnoni established the scholarships for students who display exceptional leadership skills in school and in our communities.
Arnoni’s objective in founding Leadership Development in 2019 was to be a proactive voice to educate students and families about the challenges regarding substance abuse and social media while teaching students valuable leadership skills.