The Young Leaders of East Alabama is a leadership development academy developed for school-aged students that are in the 10th-11th grade. This academy was developed under the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Troy University Phenix City campus. It is an intense 10-month program that began on June 6, with new student orientation. This year’s class consists of 10 hand-selected students from Central, Russell County, and Smiths Station high schools.
On June 20, the 10 students, along with their three chaperones, loaded onto a bus for Troy University in Troy for three days. While on campus, the students took part in a variety of seminars and activities.
After arriving on campus, the students wasted no time going from lunch to their first leadership seminar with members of the Troy University Institute for Leadership Development. Prior to their arrival, all students had to take the MBTI personality test, which was the first thing they dove into with the Leadership staff. During this seminar, the students learned how their personalities correlate with others, and how each person tackles situations and problems differently based on their personalities. The seminar was followed up with a competitive game of “Leadership Cornhole.”
On day two, the students began their day with an immersive tour of the Troy Campus where they learned about the school’s history, culture, and international impact. After the walking tour, the students were ready for lunch as they were treated to the famous fried chicken in Trojan Dining.
Following lunch, the students spent the next few hours in John Robert Lewis Hall where they learned from faculty members about the art of public speaking. During this session, the students were able to hear from a former Toastmasters President and hear a speech from a former Toastmasters International award-winner. The students also were tasked with creating and presenting their own speeches multiple times during this session. Day two was wrapped up with a two-hour scavenger hunt that spanned the campus. The students were divided up into teams based on their MBTI test results and had to work together to complete the complex and physically enduring scavenger hunt.
On their final day, the students were taken to nearby Camp Butter & Egg Adventure for some outdoor team-building activities. Throughout this four-hour program, the students used the skills they learned during their visit to work together to overcome the different obstacles. This required brainstorming, communication, teamwork, perseverance, and grace. The staff at Butter & Egg were very captivated by how well the students worked and communicated together after only being with each other for two days.
Before the students departed for home, they were surprised with the opportunity to return to campus for tours of Trojan Arena and Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Overall, the students had a fantastic time learning and developing leadership skills that they will carry with them into the future. This trip was the kick-off to their 10-month leadership development academy that will culminate with graduation in April 2024.
If you would like to know more about the Young Leaders of East Alabama Leadership Academy or would like information on how to support it, please contact the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org.