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Johns Creek students sharpen leadership skills at 2-year program



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BETSY RHAME-MINOR/Staff. (click for larger version)
August 15, 2012
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — On one of the last days of summer vacation, 32 Johns Creek high school students tossed bean bags, scaled walls, swung from ropes and had to solve problems creatively as a team.

This was after they'd spent all morning inside learning about mission, vision and core values.

After each ropes course activity, the students talked about what they learned from the experience and how those lessons could be applied in leadership and everyday life.

The goal of the retreat was for the students to start getting to know each other, as they'll spend a lot of time together over the next two years.

The rising sophomore and junior students were hand-picked from 65 applicants to enter the Student Leadership Johns Creek program.

This 2012-14 class is comprised of students from four area high schools: Centennial, Chattahoochee, Johns Creek and Northview high schools.

Chattahoochee High School rising sophomore Shariq Mohammad is looking forward to being a part of the program.

"I have things I want to do for myself that involve leadership," Mohammad said. "And I hope this program will help me get a hold of that."

The program was born out of Leadership Johns Creek, which helps adult community members develop leadership skills and invest in the Johns Creek area. Adults have been able to take part in this program for the last four years, and this is the first year students are able to take part in their own leadership development program.

Northview sophomore Rachel Zhu, who hopes to one day be a lawyer and is eager to be a leader at her school, was encouraged to apply to the program by her parents.

"In my group projects I am a leader [already]," Zhu said. "I wanted to help my peers out because I feel like our school should have leaders that go through programs."

This year, the students will start honing their leadership skills and take on a community service project at their respective schools. During the 2013-14 school year, the group will complete a service project out in the community. Throughout the program, the students will get access to leaders locally all the way up to state-level government.

"[The students] are going to constantly be in front of community leaders who are going to tell them their story of success," said Ronald Jones, a graduate of Leadership Johns Creek and a founder of the student program. "It's going to give them the opportunity to accelerate their leadership."

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