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30 SSHS Students Kickoff Chick-fil-A Leader Academy

Sulphur Springs High School kicked off a new program Wednesday designed to help students develop into effective leaders. The Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy is one of the largest leadership academies in America, with 110,000 students from over 1,050 schools in 40 states helping more than 2. 5 million people through impact projects since it launches in 3 schools in 2013.

Sulphur Springs Chick-Fil-A will be sponsoring our students as they participate in the academy for the 2021-22 school year. Approximately 30 students from different Career & Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) on our campus have been selected for the program,” said Jenny Arledge, SSHS Director of College and Career Readiness/Career and Technical Education Director.

Students were bussed to The ROC for the kickoff event Wednesday, Sept. 15. Students spent about 3 1/2 hours hearing from various community leaders and individuals about their path to success and leadership, including Sulphur Springs Chick-fil-A Operator Bryson Bullington. Students interacted with each other and the guests, while learning more about the national high school leadership program which challenges schools and students to “re-imagine high school leadership” by focusing on “Impact through Action.”

“After hearing some of hte stories today form past, the alumni. I thought it was really cool to see so many people who have the same vision as me of wanting to impact more people. My main goal in life is to impact as many people as I can and know as many people as I can. Being part of a program that helps me do that, I think, is great,” Harley Speed said at the conclusion of the kickoff event on Sept. 15, 2021.

The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, created by the service leadership development consultancy organization ADDO (the Latin word for Aspire) to bring a fresh approach to leadership and empower young people to make a difference, has spread across six continents and more than 100 countries around the globe. Up to 30 students per school participate in the academy during seven months of the school year, and culminates with students submitting and end-of -program impact project. Students participate monthly in a web-based leader and under the guidance of a school-appointed teacher, learn principles and insights that allow them to involve potentially hundreds of others in their school, with a goal of eventually impacting thousands in their community.

According to information provided by the organization, 98 percent of students have indicated plans to continue serving others as a result of their Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy experience.

The academy approach is to engage students where they are with something that interests them. Students are introduced to new ideas and insights. The monthly leader labs highlight inspirational and informational ways to make a difference. Students too are equipped with tangible tools for their leadership journey. The approach is designed to help put students’ ideas into practice to positively impact their local communities.

Students will work on vision and goals in October, servant leadership in November and teamwork in December, innovation in January, communication in February and impact in March, then start an impact project. In April they are challenged to consider what they will do next, after they’ve graduated from the program.

Students visited after the kickoff, and expressed excitement to see their final project take shape and the impact it will have on others.

The $4,000 program is full-funded through generous sponsorships from local Chick-fil-As and Coca-Cola, according to https://chickfilaleaderacademy.com/

Sulphur Springs High School student participating in the Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy kickoff Sept. 15, at The ROC.
(Photo Credit: SSHS AV Department)

Author: Faith Huffman

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