ASHEBORO (March 22, 2017)
Eight students graduated from the 2016-2017 Fountain-Luria Student Leadership Academy at Randolph Community College on March 21.
Graduates of the 2016-2017 Fountain-Luria Student Leadership Academy at RCC were (seated, from left) Kamryn Mills and Emily Escobar; (standing, from left) Landon Bare, Makala Wiles, Pamela Squibb, Aby Hughes, Morgan Kinney, and Isaac Rumbley.
Dr. Stephen Gainey, superintendent of the Randolph County School System, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Gainey talked to the graduates about four important points to remember as a leader: 1) that it is important to learn your role in your organization; 2) that you are a culture and climate builder at all times as a leader; 3) that good communication is essential; and 4) that you need to be the number one cheerleader for your organization. In conclusion, he said that “being a leader is not about winning and losing; it is not about being right; it’s about getting people to work together.”
The Student Leadership Academy has been sponsored since its inception by Dr. Stuart B. Fountain, a former member of the State Board of Community Colleges, and Dr. Alan S. Luria, a former member of RCC’s Board of Trustees. Both sponsors were on hand for the graduation ceremony, which is the 10th one for the Academy.
Participants in this year’s Student Leadership Academy attended evening sessions throughout the school year with guest speakers focusing on different leadership topics. Each student created a personal portfolio, which was reviewed by a local human resource professional. The participants were also involved in a leadership project, in which they were charged with finding a need in the community and meeting that need.
Three groups of students presented the results of their projects during the graduation ceremony. The first group, which ended up being one student after a couple of students had to leave the Academy, hosted an Adoption Fair at the Randolph County Animal Shelter on Feb. 25. Presenter Pamela Squibb said that although she lost her teammates along the way, she learned a great deal from the project. “Just to get one animal adopted was worth all of the work,” said Squibb. Four animals ended up being adopted on the day of the Adoption Fair, and she felt she raised awareness of the need for adoptions.
The second group, which consisted of Landon Bare, Kamryn Mills, and Makala Wiles, decided they wanted to help a group of disabled community members. They found a group home run by the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina and visited with the residents to lead a painting class and teach them how to make homemade ice cream. The SLA group also cleaned the home for the residents and made some minor repairs. The students said it was a great learning experience for them, teaching them patience, problem solving, and the importance of service, among other things. Landon Bare said, “I learned that we have a whole lot of opportunities. These (disabled adults) haven’t had those opportunities, but they have the ability to unconditionally love everyone they come into contact with.”
Students in the third leadership group decided to host a Job Fair in conjunction with RCC’s Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium (SEELC) Grant personnel. Emily Escobar, Morgan Kinney, Isaac Rumbley, and Aby Hughes presented how they accomplished their very successful Job Fair, which attracted 43 employers for 562 possible job opportunities. They also worked with RCC’s Marketing Department to promote the event. More than 400 job seekers showed up at the event on Feb. 21. The group said that 17 people left with a job on the day of the event, not accounting for the multiple interviews and follow-ups after the job fair. Emily Escobar said, “We not only learned about servant leadership, but we practiced it.”
The graduates of the 2016-2017 Fountain-Luria Student Leadership Academy, their majors, and hometowns are as follows:
Landon Bare, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Liberty
Emily Escobar, RECHS junior, Associate in Science (College Transfer), Asheboro
Aby Hughes, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Asheboro
Morgan Kinney, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Asheboro
Kamryn Mills, RECHS senior, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Randleman
Isaac Rumbley, Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Asheboro
Pamela Squibb, Accounting, Pleasant Garden
Makala Wiles, RECHS junior, Associate in Science, Asheboro