Saint James Sophomores Bailey Anderson, Ryan Barranco, and Presley Miles were nominated by the Saint James high school faculty and selected by the University of Alabama Capstone Council to attend a two-day leadership conference in Tuscaloosa, February 28th - March 1st, the Capstone Leadership Academy.
During the conference, students participated in leadership-building roundtables and worked on collaborative projects and presentations with other CLA attendees. They were also provided campus tours and introductions to administrators and student leaders from the University of Alabama Honors College.
Gleaned from the two-day workshop, two of the Saint James sophomores remarked on the attributes an effective leader must personify – Values, Vision, and Voice.
“I am so thankful for this experience,” said Presley Miles. “The key thing I took away from the conference is to surround myself with people who support my values, have a clear vision, and a passionate voice,” Miles continued.
“I am also so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend CLA,” said Bailey Anderson. “I learned how to be a more effective leader – using my values, vision, and voice,” she continued. “I know this experience helped me grow as a person and as a leader.”
With 160 sophomores from across the state of Alabama at the conference, participants met people from cities they have never visited and parts of the state unknown to them.
“I was amazed at the many points of view I was exposed to at the conference,” said Ryan Barranco. “We were encouraged to set our own goals in life, but to remember that to be an effective leader, you have to learn how to inspire others and foster collaboration,” he continued. “The conference was so motivating—there were many times I felt the lessons and messages they were teaching us were speaking to me, directly. I know this experience will guide me on my path ahead.”
Each year, the Saint James high school faculty nominates select sophomores to submit entries to the Capstone Council / Capstone Leadership Academy. A University of Alabama alumni group composed of former Capstone Men and Women; the Office of the President; and the Honors College host the conference each spring on the UA campus. The Capstone Council also awards through the UA Alumni Association a leadership scholarship each year to one incoming freshman that attended CLA as a sophomore. This scholarship, the Jean Townsend O’Connor-Snyder and Leslie Anderson Vallely Capstone Council scholarship is worth $6,000 and is awarded once, for the student’s freshman year.