Students from the Otero Junior College President’s Leadership Program attended the Colorado Leadership Alliance Summit in Denver earlier this month.
The CLA unites the undergraduate leadership training programs of Colorado State University, Ft. Collins; Colorado State University, Pueblo; Metropolitan State College of Denver; Regis University; United States Air Force Academy; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; University of Colorado, Denver; University of Denver; and the University of Northern Colorado. Otero Junior College’s President’s Leadership Program was the only junior college group invited to attend the event.
The CLA Summit, held annually, brings renowned leaders to speak and interact with students, directors, and friends of CLA. The theme of this year’s conference was “Leadership Back to Basics.”
Saul Garlick, founder and CEO of Think Impact, gave the keynote presentation, “Nobody is Poor and Other Leadership Lessons from Rural Africa.” Think Impact takes students from the United States to Africa to live for a week with locals, immersed in their culture. The students assist the locals in developing entrepreneurial opportunities in their communities.
Following the keynote address, the morning was dedicated to breakout sessions on various leadership topics presented by community leaders from the Denver area. Sessions included “Making a Better World: Exercising Your Responsibility to the Community” and “The Next Generation of Leaders: The Culturally Fluent Leader.”
During part of the afternoon the students were divided into teams and charged with developing a plan to address childhood obesity in Colorado. The teams determined to have the best plans by judges at the conference will return to Denver on April 4 to present their plans to Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. Two OJC students, Brittni Crist and Jenna Waggoner, were on winning teams.
“When you pull together a group of leaders, great things are going to happen. Group activities allow you to play on each other’s strengths.” said Crist. “We have discussed in class how important it is for leaders to know their strengths and weaknesses and recognize the strengths of others in a group. This conference allowed me to apply the skills we have been learning.”
The latter part of the afternoon offered the students an opportunity to network with business people from around the Denver area. They shared not only information about their careers, but the paths they took to get to where they are now.
Four members of OJC’s President’s Leadership Program, Kurt Lieberknecht, Lauren Connel, Colton Grasmick and Brittni Crist, will have another opportunity to develop their leadership skills when they attend the National Leadership Seminar at the Air Force Academy later this spring.
The President’s Leadership Program at OJC will soon be accepting applications for the 2013-2014 session. For more information, contact Samme Ormiston, President’s Leadership Program director at (719) 384-6850.
Photo Caption: Students from OJC’s President’s Leadership Program hold up signs containing their responses to the Colorado Leadership Alliance Summit theme, “Leadership is _____.” Pictured are: Back row (r-l) Kurt Leiberknecht, Chi-Ann Wisemon, Samme Ormston, Jenna Waggoner, Camille Kovach, Autumn Shields, Naseem Bibi and Colton Grasmick. Front row (r-l) Aleksei Semes, Brittni Crist, Kendra Taylor, Lauren Connel, Braden Wilson and Tobias Koetcher.