This week, several high school students from the Warren County School District took part in the first of three sessions of Franklin Covey Leadership training, as part of the second tactic in the SCK LAUNCH Community Plan, Student Led Leadership. The training is offered for those students who have applied and been selected to serve as members of their school’s Student Ambassador Team.
Student Ambassador Teams encourage students to act as catalysts among their peers, making measurable and significant impacts in their school and community. In achieving that mission, teams will lead campaigns and projects throughout the year. The training that begins this week will help students develop principle-centered leadership skills necessary to lead a strong and dynamic community.
According to Warren County Superintendent Rob Clayton, “The Leader In Me initiative has been an instrumental piece in creating a school culture that is positive for both students and teachers. The missing piece has long been the continuity of carrying the ideas beyond the K-8 experience and introducing them into our high schools. Our partnership with the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce has allowed us to build upon the principles our students are learning in their formative years. Our Student Ambassadors are taking those skills from their elementary and middle school experiences and applying them on a much larger scale outside of the classroom setting. We are truly creating community leaders.”
The Student Led Leadership tactic is the next step in the K-12 leadership initiative started in 2011 by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. That year, the Chamber raised $1.4 million in private funding to make Bowling Green and Warren County the first community in the nation to put the Leader in Me culture in all classrooms in all public schools K through 12. Since then, The Leader in Me has been a point of differentiation—setting the foundation to increase the quality of the workforce and to grow our community’s future leaders.
The Leader in Me (Elementary) and LEAD (Middle School) embed leadership development into the core curriculum, activities and culture of a school. By teaching students leadership skills—the same skills that employers seek in top talent—they create a human capital advantage for our community in the long run. The model uses Dr. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to incorporate the language and concepts into everyday life.
Building on The Leader in Me and LEAD, Student Led Leadership focuses on the application of the principles of leadership and prepares students for their future and creates contributing members of the community. Lessons within Student Led Leadership focus on developing students that fit the profile of an Ideal Graduate – someone who is a life-long learner, emotionally intelligent, and globally minded.
Ron Bunch, President and CEO of the Chamber noted, “It has always been our vision and the vision of our generous investors to continue the Covey leadership training into the high school grades. We are delighted to see these students have the opportunity to put all they have learned into practice and become leaders in our community. The ability to successfully apply leadership concepts in a practical setting puts our students in a class by themselves and creates the world-class talent pipeline that sets us apart from the rest. We look forward to placing each of them in positions right here in Bowling Green as soon as they’re ready.”
SCK LAUNCH is a collective effort of the community intended to inspire the powerful education and business partnerships necessary to create the talent pipeline for high-demand sectors to grow the South Central Kentucky economy. The initiative builds on and enhances work already in progress in Bowling Green and Warren County high schools to offer career shadowing, educator externships, career academies, and employability skills training as a way to inspire students and provide valuable learning opportunities that engage their personal interest and career aspirations.
To learn more about the initiative and available volunteer opportunities, please contact Meredith Rozanski or Sandra Baker at the Chamber or visit the initiative website at SCKLAUNCH.com.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.