Pasco-Hernando State College hosted its annual Student Life Retreat at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club Aug. 1-3. 

This year’s retreat themed “Level Up” focused on building student skills that will assist them in future academic and life endeavors. The event highlighted ways to level up skillsets of executing, influencing, strategic thinking and relationship building. 

“The retreat is vital because it gives students a chance to obtain skills employers are looking for that they may not obtain in the classroom,” said John Fey, assistant director student life and leadership. 

 The annual retreat is open to all PHSC students with an emphasis on those about to enter the college environment. For many of the students like Ashley Usoro, an incoming freshman from Wesley Chapel looking to pursue her nursing degree, this event was the first opportunity to experience the collegiate environment. 

“It was a great opportunity to learn about myself being surrounded by new people and perspectives and a great experience for anyone coming to college for the first time,” said Usoro. 

New to the event this year was an opening community resource expo featuring over 50 booths where students could obtain resources and network with local colleges and universities, businesses and non-profit organizations and PHSC groups and clubs. Approximately 500 students, vendors, faculty, staff, family, and friends attended the expo.  

“This year we decided to add an expo including a wide array of entities that students might get value from. We had a great turnout from exhibitors that were not only able to serve the students from PHSC but other students from colleges in the area who were able to come and make connections,” said Fey. 

Nearly 100 students stayed on-site at Innsbrook throughout the three-day retreat allowing them to build relationships with each other and participate in teambuilding exercises, attend workshops, and hear from keynote speakers, including Derrick Brooks, who shared their winning leadership strategies and perspectives.

“I met a lot of new people and made new friends while learning how to effectively work together and identify strengths and areas of improvement in my leadership abilities,” said Usoro.