Joseph Vione participated with a select group of students representing their schools, communities, and countries as People to People Student Leaders at a Leadership Summit this past summer. The Leadership Summit: Remembering Hurricane Katrina was held in New Orleans and focused on leadership, teambuilding, community service as well as global awarenes. This is the second time Joseph has been selected as a People to People Ambassador; in 2008 he was a Student Ambassador to Western Europe, traveling to France, England, Austria and Germany. Joseph, a senior at Garden City High School, was nominated and accepted for the honor based on scholastic merit, civic involvement, and leadership potential.
The landmark Hurricane Katrina summit commemorated the fifth anniversary of the devastating storm by uniting some of the country’s finest young leaders in restoring the city. Student Leaders worked at developing community-service skills by rebuilding homes and schools in New Orleans, particularly in the Lower 9th Ward, while exploring its rich history. They also learned valuable leadership skills by meeting with leaders who have worked to restore the region, including Peyton and Eli Manning, Condoleeza Rice, director Spike Lee and Task Force Katrina leader Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore.
After returning home from the summit, Joseph has spoken to several groups about his experience in New Orleans, describing both what he learned from the summit and what he did while he was there to make a difference in the community. He feels that as an ambassador it is his role to “give voice” to the people of New Orleans so that they will not be forgotten about. Although much progress has been made in New Orleans in the five years since the devastation, there is still a lot of work to be done.