JBU SIFE Hosts High School Leadership Conference

Siloam Springs, Ark. (November 16, 2009) — Leader2Leader and John Brown University Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) hosted the 2009 Northwest Arkansas High School Leadership Conference on Nov. 10 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Rogers, Ark. Joe Walenciak, JBU professor of business and SIFE sponsor, said approximately 200 students attended this year’s event.

Themed “Conflict Resolution: Having a High Impact Team,” the conference provided a venue for high school students to focus on leadership development and how to have better relationships within their teams, said Walenciak

The program began five years ago with one school and seven students in attendance. It now reaches students from 15 high schools from northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma.

In March 2009, several former and current JBU SIFE students took the initiative to turn the program into its own non-profit organization called Leader2Leader.

Stephanie Polley, JBU SIFE vice president and co-founder of Leader2Leader, said, “The purpose is to teach high school students the importance of leadership, character and integrity.”

The conference was co-facilitated with the Rogers-based consulting firm, Performance Insights. Tim Keck of Performance Insights led an initiative-based presentation called “Improve Through Improv,” which allowed students to interact in a fun and engaging atmosphere.

For the last two years, the conference has been sponsored by Walmart Stores, Inc. This year, Leader2Leader received more than $10,000 in grants to host the event.

Daniel Silver, co-founder of Leader2Leader, said, “Thanks to Walmart, all participating students were be able to attend for free. We were thankful to partner with an organization that is willing to go above and beyond to invest in tomorrow’s leaders.”

For more information on Leader2Leader and how to participate or become involved, visit their Web site at www.myl2l.com.

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