Wonderful Wednesdays!

Special Edition: Ignite, 2019!

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Ignite, 2019!

This past Saturday, November 16th, over 125 students and 40 adults gathered at Indian Lake HS to Ignite their dreams at our inaugural student leadership conference! After the keynote shared by Emil Brolick, former CEO of both Wendy's and Yum! Foods (Taco Bell), students attended seven (of 15 possible) break-out sessions given by amazing leaders in sectors from politics (Warren Davidson and Adam Josefczyk), business (Small Nation, Miller Flowers, High Grounds Cafe), education (Susan Strong), Non-Profits (The Clubhouse), leadership experts (Mike Nygren), and more! Featured topics included: "What I Wish I Had Known About Networking", "Resilience", "The Power of Encouragement", "Choosing Curiosity Over Fear" and more! At the end of the day, students gathered in district teams to share major take-aways and craft action plans to implement newly learned principles in their districts. What dreams and challenges will be "sparked" by the conference? Only time will tell, but we're excited to see our students turn inspiring information into meaningful action! Special thanks to Indian Lake's teachers, staff, and maintenance team for hosting this event!

National Speakers!

Multiple national speakers came to share their core leadership values with our students!

Emil Brolick, former CEO, spoke of his childhood experience (his first job was picking blueberries at age 8); his family's educational background (his father completed only up to the 8th grade); his thirst for learning that led to junior college, then -- ultimately -- Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Detroit. Mr. Brolick shared many of his core leadership values, including: cultivating strong character and citizenship, giving back, and pursuing a healthy lifestyle. He encouraged students to "never stop growing and learning" and to surround themselves with people who help them become the best versions of themselves.

Congressman Warren Davidson (8th district) -- a conference favorite -- shared with students about his path to politics, including attending West Point, experiences in the military (including being present for the Berlin Wall's fall), and entering the workforce through business.

Author and former MTV producer Susan Strong -- another conference favorite -- encouraged students with Roosevelt's famous quotation that, "It's not the critic who counts, it's the person in the arena." Based on his wisdom, her own real-life experiences, and many adventures, Ms. Strong encouraged students to "choose curiosity over fear"; "take risks by seeking new adventures"; and "connect with others" by learning and hearing their stories.

Thank you to our speakers who volunteered and traveled many miles to "pour into" students' lives! You are making a difference!



Link to the conference website: https://sites.google.com/mresc.org/ignite-2019/about-this-event

Regional Leaders!

Regional leaders from neighboring states shared their passion and their experiences as well.

Becky McDonald, Founder and President of Women at Risk International, shared with students her passion for helping to rescue and provide empowering work for those formerly experiencing "over 14 different types of trauma". Ms. McDonald's personal stories, stories of those rescued, and leadership principles gleaned from finding, following, and birthing her passion encouraged and inspired students from across our counties to make a difference in our world!

Anthony and Klodiana Tedesco, Columbus-based attorneys, shared principles of networking with students: that networking can happen anywhere, with anyone, at any time. Keys to networking include being authentic, strategic with social media, and utilizing "classics" like business cards and the "elevator speech" to network well.

Commander Lydia Doye (US Navy, Troy High School, Naval Academy graduate) shared on the leadership key of resilience. From writing multiple letters to her Congressman (Boehner) beginning in 10th grade to juggling a demanding career as a Naval HR officer and mother of four, CDR Doye defined resilience ("bouncing back from difficult experiences"), then led students through a resilience quiz and practical ways to cultivate resilience.

Thanks to these regional leaders for sharing your passion and expertise with our students!

Local Legends!

Legendary local leaders Cheryl Bender, Matt Brown, Mike Nygren, and Chuck Price inspired students with fantastic teamwork principles, entreprenurial tips, and leadership learned from years of mentoring national and international business leaders. Ms. Bender (The Clubhouse) took teens through teamwork exercises, emphasizing that teens -- now -- can lead, both in their schools and outside of school. (Her organization, The Clubhouse, teaches teens to lead other teens through their after-school enrichment opportunities). Matt Brown (Small Nation, Iron City) shared entreprenurial tips while 40-year leadership coach Mike Nygren (The Idea Factory) led students through exercises, stories, and activities that have informed his 40 year career working with teens. Finally, Chuck Price (Cru, High Grounds Cafe) helped students learn to move from "success to significance" by emphasizing the power of pursuing quality relationships in all endeavors.

Leadership in Action!

Without follow-up, a conference is just a conference -- without a plan for implementation, we risk losing the amazing principles and ideas gleaned from the day. With that in mind, at the end of the day, students and district leaders convened in small groups to craft action plans. Below is a sample of their plans (as shared by district leaders):

District A: "Our kids' initial plan is to thank 2 people per day, compliment 2 people per day, and invite 2 others to do the same. We're also working to connect the Ignite group with our Leadership Council."

District B: "We want to improve school spirit."

District C: "Our action plan centered around being more inclusive and helping others get involved."

District D: "Students want to increase respect between students and between students and teachers. They also want to improve the school culture by making the school a more positive environment by making a student improvement club more welcoming to all."

These are just samples of the great ideas and action plans students and districts have created. We are excited to hear and see the results of their courageous action steps. Kudos to all of you for taking steps to ignite the leader within!

All content (c) 2020 Erica Baer, MRESC Director of Student Achievement. ebaer@mresc.org

Thank You!

Special thanks to our sponsors (pictured at right) along with Indian Lake HS Superintendent Robert Underwood, Principal Kyle Wagner, and the teachers, tech staff, and maintenance crew for hosting the event.

Midwest Regional Educational Service Center

Our Vision/Mission: The Midwest Regional Educational Service Center serves and supports students, families, and districts as an innovative educational partner.