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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!