This marked the fourth year for the event, which was originally inspired by eight Oak Mountain High School students in January 2013. The event has since impacted over 1,000 high school students and has continued to grow each year, including this year’s record-setting attendance of 670 students.
Program Director John Milton, who assists in student leadership development at Oak Mountain High School, said the students who attend the Leadership Summit are part of a collective of student leaders who will lead positive change within their communities this school year.
“Leadership is a call to action, and it is my hope that today you will be inspired to live our life to make a difference in the lives of others,” Milton told the students through the program booklet.
Kevin Paul Scott, co-founder of ADDO Worldwide and the ADDO Institute, was the presenter for the sessions. Matt Peele and Katie Bersinger, with Elevate Live Events, also helped facilitate the summit. Mandy Kelly, an Oak Mountain High School graduate who currently serves as a Senator At-Large with the Student Government Senate at Auburn University, also shared what she has learned about leadership.
Scott, who is also the author of 8 Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up, led the students through some discussion about the exchanges outlined in his book – such as exchanging acceptance for accomplishment, exchanging fans for friends, exchanging expedience for excellence, and exchanging immediate for the ultimate. Students were each provided a copy of the book, along with a workbook to use for the session notes and for guided reading on the remaining exchange lessons.
The students also developed vision statements based on how they wanted to be known or remembered and looked at the three I’s of impact, influence, and integrity. The students also learned about the Leadership Triangle, which uses the words influence, choices, and responsibility to show students their ability to influence others, whether it is younger siblings, fellow classmates, or younger students who look up to them as mentors. There is a certain amount of responsibility to those other individuals that accompanies the influence, Scott said. That responsibility should lead students to carefully weigh the impact of their choices and the potential consequences of their actions.
Schools who sent student representatives included B.B. Comer High, Calera High, Chelsea High, Chelsea Middle, Childersburg High, Fayetteville High, Helena High, Hoover High, Hope Christain, James Clemens High, Lincoln High, Montevallo High, Munford High, Oak Mountain High, Pelham High, Shelby County High, St. Clair County High, Talladega County Central High, Talladega High, Vincent Middle/High, and Winterboro.
The event was hosted by Valleydale Church. Additional sponsors included the University of Montevallo, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Shelby County, Shelby County Schools, Shelby County Schools Education Foundation, Publix Super Markets Charities, McDonalds, The Power of Good sponsored by Alabama Power, and Coca-Cola. Special thanks to Senator Jabo Waggoner, Senator Slade Blackwell, Representative Arnold Mooney, Representative Matt Fridy, Representative Mike Hill, Rick Lathan, and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for their support of the summit.