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Students harness leadership potential

Olympic High School senior Alex Kain stood out amongst his peers Thursday morning in his school library. While more than 70 high school students from 15 different high schools were engaged in a pointed question-and-answer session about the upcoming presidential election, he scanned the room, reading the faces and reactions of the other students. He wanted to make sure his guests were doing fine.

Kain was one of the organizers for the Interhigh event, a leadership forum for high school students hosted by Olympic High School. The students all were active in their high school student governments.

The event included Democrat Mike Venuto and Republican Dean Jenniges, a small-group discussion on community service projects and a hefty dose of comic relief from local comedian Cris Larsen.

Larsen relayed a story about his early days in high school in which he was one of hundreds of students who were bussed to Central Kitsap High School for afternoon classes because Olympic High School was under construction. He said he was sitting on the steps outside CKHS when three CKHS students were about to crack an egg on his head. The student sitting next to Larsen — whom Larsen still doesn’t know to this day — stopped the prank before it started.

“Hey, don’t do that. I know this guy; he’s cool,” the student told the would-be pranksters.

All it took was one person to stand up, Larsen said.

The overall message was not lost on the students — there is no excuse not to stand up to injustice or get involved in the community.

“If you don’t speak out, nothing will change,” said Brittany Samms, a senior at Gig Harbor High School. “If you see something wrong and you don’t say anything, there’s something wrong with that.”

Fellow Gig Harbor senior Tyler Anderson said he attended the event to be a representative of his school

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