Students participate in leadership seminar


Students arrive at leadership conference at Southeast Raleigh High School.

Suzanne Blake , Managing Editor

“She Leads,” a high school conference focused on female empowerment and self-growth, was attended by 13 students March 11 at Southeast Raleigh High School.

Of the students nominated, freshmen Tyler Bland, Kamaria Marshall, Rachel Moberg, Simone Nabors, Miranda Tiffany, sophomores Alliana Avancena, Mayla Gilliam, Abby Gunter, Jennifer Nguyen, Payge Stearns, juniors Vy Nguyen, Kori Smith and senior Aeron Laney took part in the event.

Jennifer Nguyen said the purpose of She Leads was to “get young teens to get out there, to use their talents to inspire other people, build confidence and just help us break out of our shell.”

In this effort, students first listened to an opening speech by Sandra DuBose, a notable author and life coach.

“She was just very motivational, and she taught a lot, a lot, about self worth,” Gunter said.

Following the commencement speech, students went to the individual classes they had preselected, among them Event Planning, How to Take Out a Drama Queen, Finding the Leader Within, How To Roar, as well as a class on women’s science.

For Gilliam, one aspect of the field trip stands out.

“I enjoyed learning about personal responsibility and how you’re not responsible for anybody but yourself, so make sure you’re your best self,” Gilliam said.

Jennifer Nguyen’s favorite part consisted of drawing in Dr. Rita Linger’s Finding the Leader Within seminar.

“We had to do this activity where we drew three pictures. So one was to depict where you are now and show your struggles and stuff. And the second picture was facing your fear and what that would look like. The third one would be how you conquered it, so it would be like you in the future,” Jennifer said. “I think that was really cool, and we had to show it to a group of people, and then she’d give us feedback on how to deal with our problems and how we handled it. It was a good eye opener.”

Among those Jennifer Nguyen shared her drawings with were students from all across Wake County, around 200 in total attendance at the field trip.

Many were looking to gain something unique from the experience.

For Gunter, the goal to “become a better leader for the future in college” was motivation.

Gilliam perceived the field trip to be a good opportunity to learn about leadership and personal skills and was not disappointed.

“I got to meet new people and gained a better understanding of myself,” Gilliam said.

Jennifer hoped to implement leadership skills gained from the field trip in JROTC and came back with even more, including knowledge of meditation.

Jennifer Nguyen said, “I think I learned a lot more about myself that I didn’t know because I’m not a very emotional person, but getting to go here and just meet the people, I got a new perspective on leadership and how to interact with other people.”