The Student Leadership Initiative is a unique program to develop and promote leadership and student voice within the community. Each year, selected students from across the nation engage in an eight-month project arising from an environmental or social justice issue. Students are lead by MCNC Staff and school advisors through prescribed tasks that build college and career readiness skills of research, organization, communication and use of social media. Students engage their schools and communities in a focused social action plan and then capture their success in presentations, which are shared at a four-day conference. Students visit with local experts, get exposure to a new environment and engage in academic discourse with peers they have met on-line. In recent years students have replanted gardens in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, studied diversity in New York City, and traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for increased support for dual enrollment programs. They have climbed through snow at 10,000 feet in Estes Park, Colo. to understand the meaning of pristine environment, and seen the impact of industrial waste on the Reedy River in Greenville, S.C. The experience improves literacy and promotes college readiness skills as students learn to be competent writers and deeply engaged readers, and do meaningful research outside the confines of the classroom. They become spokespeople for the school community, develop confidence and view themselves as change agents. Schools wishing to participate, register in September. The conference takes place at school sites in late April or early May. The 2017 Student Leadership Conference will take place in Houston, TX from March 29th – April 2nd. The theme of this year’s conference will be Environment and Sustainability . For information about this year’s Student Leadership Conference contact Terry Born.
Titles and themes of previous conferences include:
- From Rust to Renewal: Applying Purposeful Design for Communities (2014-2015)Ann Arbor, Flint, Ypsilanti, MI
- Be The Change You Want To See (2013 – 2014) Washington, DC/Prince George County, Md
- What Makes a Healthy Community? (2012-2013) Columbus, Ohio
- Diversity 2010-2011 Los Angeles, Ca
- Diversity: The Social, Political and Financial Impact of Diversity on Community – Brooklyn, NY