MHSAA students attend Student Leadership Summit

Anna Shepard (Germantown) and Hunter Wilson (Pelahatchie) visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo by Celeste Bramlett

MHSAA student athletes Anna Shepard (Germantown) and Hunter Wilson (Pelahatchie) are participating in the NFHS Student Leadership Summit in Indianapolis this week. Among the many activities that they participated in, Shepard and Wilson played basketball with Special Olympics athletes.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is hosting the National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS). The NSLS is unlike any of the previous NFHS student leadership conferences.

The newly created summit is based upon a different model of discussing and strategizing relevant and contemporary issues affecting today’s students in education-based athletics and performing arts.

Some of the critical goals of the NSLS for the students are to further develop their understanding of positive leadership and to be aware of the privilege and power of their influence in their school, community and state.

By utilizing a “train the trainer” concept, the student and adult ambassadors are given some knowledge and skills to effectively lead their peers at school and in their state association. By targeting specific topics, each student ambassador is learning how to develop and maintain healthy relationships with teammates, coaches/adult leaders, and officials.
They will learn some applicable conflict-resolution techniques along with skills to be an effective cross-age mentor. The students will also understand how to be better communicators with their peers and adults. They will be taught some key presentation skill tips when presenting to small and large groups.
Another pertinent topic is social media. The student ambassadors will learn how to establish a positive electronic identity with social media and how to repair and rejuvenate a digital presence that does not truly reflect who they are. In addition, they are learning the value of perspective and inclusion. In our ever-changing landscape, inclusion no longer reflects just ethnicity, gender, religion or cultural differences. With the expansion of adaptive and unified sports, interscholastic athlete participation figures have grown exponentially with athletes who have physical and emotional challenges.
These are relevant topics in today’s world and our revised leadership model consists of bringing renowned experts to discuss these issues in a lecture/interactive format in small group breakout classes.

MHSAA student athletes Anna Shepard (Germantown) and Hunter Wilson (Pelahatchie) play basketball with Special Olympics athletes at the NFHS Student Leadership Summit in Indianapolis. Photo by Celeste Bramlett

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