"I learned that being a leader is more than just leading people," said Desmoné Logan, a rising senior at Oscar Smith High School, "it takes responsibility, respectfulness, and dignity to lead others."
Logan was reflecting on her experience in the 2017 eXcel Leadership Academy. From July 11-14, Logan joined 34 other rising high school juniors and seniors in the program based on the LEAD Hampton Roads program executive leadership program. The eXcel Leadership academy connects rising high school juniors and seniors to community, business, and government leaders across the region.
During the four-day experience, students made more than 10 on-site visits to major industries and organizations where they experienced the exciting opportunities our region offers. The intensive curriculum included training modules on skills assessment, the creation of a positive personal brand, resume building, and leadership practices.
During the program, students visited sites such as ClarkNexsen, the Virginia Beach 2nd Police Precinct, 757 Makerspace, EVMS Norfolk, and others to get behind the scenes look at how the different companies and organizations operate. eXcel culminated with a graduation ceremony on Friday, July 14th at Slover Library. Students shared what they learned with short skits and heard from keynote speaker, Mike Herron, Publisher of Inside Business.
"Programs like this are designed to motivate and inspire you," said Herron, "but really it's up to you to motivate yourselves."
Amy Walls, parent of program participant Maddie Walls shared Herron's sentiment. "I think she will take away some things she can use in the work force and hopefully in taking on a leadership role in the future. The eXcel program [is] a great experience for her to see what the business world is really like and have hands-on experiences."
The eXcel Leadership Academy provides a unique opportunity for the next generation to experience the exciting opportunities our region offers. Through this program, we inspire and equip our youth to become the future leaders of Hampton Roads.
LEAD Hampton Roads is a program of the Hampton Roads Chamber.