UTSA engages high school students in Leadership Challenge program

Leadership Challenge
Leadership Challenge

Leadership Challenge program

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(June 20, 2013) --This month, high school student representatives from six San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley magnet schools will participate in a three-day leadership program hosted by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Business Center for Professional Excellence (CPE). The program is part of the CPE's long-term effort to expand its Leadership Challenge course to schools throughout San Antonio and South Texas to help more young people recognize their leadership potential.

"Everyone has leadership potential. The challenge is creating the conditions for its emergence," said Robert Lengel, UTSA associate dean of executive education and CPE director. "We hope to help these young students embark upon a personal, introspective learning journey to explore and recognize their capacities to lead in their schools and in their lives in a way that creates real change."

Four magnet schools from South Texas Independent School District (STISD) including the South Texas Business Education and Technology Academy, South Texas High School for Health Professions, South Texas Academy for Medical Professions and Science Academy of South Texas, and two Northside Independent School District magnet schools, Health Careers High School and John Jay Science and Engineering Academy, will send five student representatives each to UTSA June 25-27.

During the program, Lengel will introduce the students to a new perspective on leadership, one that is more open-minded, accepting of diversity, creative and capable of recognizing and adapting to complex organizational dynamics.

CPE assistant director and senior lecturer Gary Larsen will lead the students in the Mount Everest Leadership and Teamwork Simulation developed by Harvard University. During the exercise, the students will experience group dynamics and leadership through the dramatic setting of a simulated Mount Everest expedition, while playing one of five roles on a team of hikers.

Additionally, the students will learn about the For the Kids (FTK) project, a community-wide effort spearheaded by UTSA to support local families battling childhood cancer through fundraising and friendship. Each student team will work closely with UTSA undergraduate student leaders and Executive M.B.A. students to develop a strategic plan for executing FTK fundraising and pediatric cancer awareness activities at their own schools during the 2013-2014 school year.

Cindy Keller, an administrator for STISD, said, "STISD is thrilled to participate in a collaborative project with UTSA that yields so many simultaneous benefits. Embracing the Leadership Challenge philosophy and FTK project in our schools will forever impact the hearts of our students, staff and community."

The Center for Professional Excellence is the home of executive education programming in the UTSA College of Business. Through its internationally recognized research program, the CPE explores leadership and organizational transformation from the perspective of the blended lenses of the arts and sciences and the application of innovative conversational technologies.

>> Learn more about FTK at UTSA.