June 5, 2013
Students develop leadership skills at National Leadership Forum
More than 200 delegates from around the South have gathered for the 57th annual National Leadership Forum at Harding University June 2-7.
The program, designed for students in grades 9-12, develops leaders and better acquaints youth with the American scene, motivating them to an expression of pride in our nation’s traditions and ideals. Each delegate must demonstrate excellent character and leadership ability.
Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to hear from several experts in their field on topics such as social media, leadership communication and education. B. Chris Simpson, 2010 University alumnus and young and middle adult minister at Holmes Road Church of Christ in Memphis, Tenn., spoke to delegates June 4 about understanding and accepting change, something he thinks is a key to leadership.
“Change, at its worst and at its best, is like the floods that come from a monsoon rain,” Simpson said. “Monsoon rain brings destruction but also moisture to soil needed to sprout vegetation. The way to face and accommodate change is through communication.”
Through labs, lectures, films and discussion, participating students had the opportunity to become more prepared, confident and equipped with the necessary tools to preserve the traditions and ideals upon which America was founded. Dr. Bob Reely, director of the University’s American Studies Institute and National Leadership Forum, hopes that through this program students can realize the influence they can have on the world.
“Students have more potential for leadership than they would probably give themselves credit for,” Reely said. “They can be leaders in their homes by stopping a culture of abuse. They can be leaders in their schools as a drum major or captain of the football team. And eventually, they can be leaders in their community and state and realize they have the potential for a national as well as a world influence.”