Missouri’s Brightest Sophomores Gain Leadership Training at Westminster

Approximately 150 of Missouri’s brightest sophomores will travel to Westminster College in Fulton June 26-29 for a four-day, hands-on leadership program sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Leadership in Practice” uses real-life activities and challenges, plus mentoring and insight from top leaders in the civic and corporate worlds, to prepare students for success in high school and beyond.

Developed over 19 years to cultivate and instill critical leadership, entrepreneurship and life skills to Missouri students, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce program offers presentations, activities, simulations and small group discussions that engage and inspire the sophomores attending to gain confidence in their abilities and network with other sophomores from across the state.

The program is divided into five different focus areas of leadership:  global, civic, economic, ethical and personal. Westminster College faculty, alumni and leaders will be among the guest presenters for the program.

“We have designed this program to provide young people with the opportunity to learn the characteristics of excellent leadership and apply these skills in their own lives as they go back to their high schools and communities,”  says Brian Crouse, who oversees the program as Vice President of Education with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Participants take part in challenging activities such as putting together a business plan and writing a commercial to sell their product or services.

Attendees are mentored by experienced business, civic and education leaders who impart real world knowledge.  This year’s presenters include the following:

  • Warren Erdman, Executive Vice President of Administration and Corporate Affairs for Kansas City Southern and a Westminster Board of Trustee member from the class of 1981;
  • Westminster President Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande;
  • Nathan McKie, President of Navigator Consulting, Inc.;
  • Jorge Guevara, President and CEO of GUESA, INC.;
  • Charla Whalen-Mueller, External Affairs of Toyota Motor-Bodine;
  • Dan Thompson, NCOIC with the Missouri National Guard;
  • Kurt Jefferson, Assistant Dean for Global Initiatives and Director of the Churchill Institute for Global Engagement at Westminster; and
  • Westminster Political Science Professor Kali Wright-Smith.

Applicants are evaluated on character, scholarship and leadership and must be recommended by a school official, student council sponsor or civic leader. For more information on the Missouri Chamber’s Leadership in Practice program, visit http://mochamber.com/workforce/leadership-in-practice/.


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