Leading a Legacy Behind

Plainview, Nebraska, has initiated a program that will have a lasting impact for many years and possibly many generations to come. The high school and National Honor Society have taken the first steps in creating a leadership academy to develop skills that can be used to help with leadership in the community, school, church, and in life.

What makes this different from other traditional leadership programs is that it is geared for the youth and encompasses much broader areas of knowledge than specific skill sets.

When the students were asked what they would like to accomplish from this training, they replied unanimously that they wanted to make a difference in the future of their community. This is a far cry from the rhetoric that we often hear about how students can’t wait to leave, and they will never return.

Most of the students from Plainview planning this nine-month program for the 2008-2009 school year will go on to college and most likely not return to live in Plainview. That does not stop them from caring about what happens to the community and trying to create opportunities for others who do choose to live and raise a family there.

The leadership academy will focus on such areas as servant leadership, transformational leadership, civic responsibility, policy literacy, ethics in leadership, intergenerational dialogue, leading change, and other areas that the students choose as leaders. The group has named themselves the Plainview Academy of Leadership, or PAL.

The idea of PAL came about as a deterrent to the bullying and harmful leadership that so often prevails in the school systems. Speakers will be brought in and students will be expected to assume roles of leadership within the community or region during this time. One of the key lessons that they have already learned in the development of leadership is that to succeed they must also assume risk.

April 13 through the 19 has been designated as National Student Leadership Week. If you are interested in the program development of “Leading A Legacy Behind,” contact Michael Holton at the Center for Rural Affairs at 402.582.4915 or email him at michaellh@cfra.org.

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