HIGH POINT, N.C., June 30, 2014 – Guilford County teens interested in developing their leadership skills have graduated from a 10-day leadership academy, hosted by High Point University and the High Point Police Department.
The 20 students were selected for the academy, which was hosted on the HPU campus, by exhibiting exceptional self-control, responsibility and interest in being leaders throughout the school year. During their 10 days together, students volunteered at various organizations around the area and learned from local leaders. The goal was to teach the students how to build confidence and self-esteem, identify personal interests and strengths, and set goals.
“The academy opened my eyes to all of the important organizations in the community and the good work they do providing for people in need,” said Liam McAbbe from Southwest High School.
“It gave me the initiative to go out in my community and volunteer more,” added Morgan Smith from Southwest Middle School.
Students visited Second Harvest Food Bank, HORSEPOWER Therapeutic Learning Center, Thomas Buses, Hospice of the Piedmont, International Civil Rights Center and Museum, Boys and Girls Club, Greensboro Science Center, Genesis Healthcare and River Girl Fishing Co. They also heard from guest speakers including Chris Dudley, chief of staff at HPU; Frank Little, co-owner of Fit Plus Nutrition; Jim Summey and Gretta Bush, High Point Community Against Violence; Tracy McCain, WFMY anchor; and other community leaders.
“Our Youth Leadership Academy was very much a success,” said Lt. Petual Sellars of the HPPD. “What I enjoyed the most was watching the students grow in their confidence. At the beginning of the academy, they did not know each other and were quite hesitant in leading the group in devotion, the pledge of allegiance and other activities. At the end of the academy, the students were very comfortable with each other, and their leadership skills bloomed even further. For example, while visiting Genesis Rehab Center, students were at first shy to interact with the residents. However, that soon changed. The students not only talked to the residents, but they began singing and dancing with them and concluded our visit by personally delivering ivy plants to each one. To watch this transformation was extraordinary!”