Dexter Regional High School students told to set their sights high and be focused

University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove speaks Wednesday with students at Dexter Regional High School during its Teen Issues Day. Cosgrove told students to have courage and stand up for what is right as part of helping students improve their self-esteem.
University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove speaks Wednesday with students at Dexter Regional High School during its Teen Issues Day. Cosgrove told students to have courage and stand up for what is right as part of helping students improve their self-esteem.
Posted March 16, 2011, at 8:21 p.m.
Last modified March 16, 2011, at 11:41 p.m.
University of Maine women's basketball coach Cindy Blodgett chats with Dexter Regional High School freshmen Katie Merrill (left) and Jessica Chabot on Wednesday during a Teen Issues Fair in the high school gym. The event promoted self-esteem improvements in students.
University of Maine women's basketball coach Cindy Blodgett chats with Dexter Regional High School freshmen Katie Merrill (left) and Jessica Chabot on Wednesday during a Teen Issues Fair in the high school gym. The event promoted self-esteem improvements in students.

DEXTER, Maine — Dexter Regional High School students were advised Wednesday that everything they do has an impact on who they become.

That message came during a Teen Issues Fair featuring several speakers, including Jack Cosgrove, head football coach at the University of Maine in Orono, and Cindy Blodgett, UM’s head basketball coach, who both spoke about self-esteem.

Cosgrove told his all-male audience that preparation, presentation and performance should be central to their lives. “Always be prepared, never be caught off guard,” whether it is a test, practice, a game, or dress, he said. As for presentation, Cosgrove said first impressions can be lasting ones. Performance is based on preparation and presentation, he added.

The courage to stand up for what’s right, the conviction to believe in one’s values, the ability to communicate effectively and consistency in actions also are equally important, Cosgrove suggested.

Blodgett told her all-female audience that she was extremely focused in her younger years and made sacrifices to meet her goals. She encouraged the students to be productive and “find a passion instead of Facebooking” every evening. “You have to be courageous, you have to be willing to be different from someone else,” she said.

Help others, Blodgett urged the students, because there will be a time that they themselves will need help.

She, too, said presentation is a key in life.

“Presentation is really, really vital in everything you do,” she said.

“Make eye contact, be a good person, try not to judge people, and work to create a network of people who are trustworthy,” Blodgett added. “Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.”

Teen pregnancy, grief and loss, careers, teen dating violence, substance abuse, suicide prevention, self-defense and conflict resolution were among other topics covered during the event.

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