Student Leadership Summit
Every student on your campus deserves the opportunity to lead!
Student leadership summits are a place where a diverse group of student leaders can gain knowledge that will help propel them towards a successful life on your campus. TEEN TRUTH’s leadership summits provide access to our professional speakers who will advise, teach, and encourage students in honing their leadership, team-building, and problem solving skills, as well as encourage the use of creativity and open mindedness. A great summit always creates a positive environment that will enhance school culture and help shape young minds to become adult leaders who can make a meaningful impact on our world.
What is a Student Leadership Summit?
Student leadership summits are ideal for 50 – 150 student leaders and can last 2 – 4 hours long. They are designed to engage student leaders in a conversation about the social-emotional issues on your campus and challenge them to come up with student-centered solutions. TEEN TRUTH’s summits are typically hosted at schools, conference centers, or district facilities where student leaders interact in training sessions that will cultivate school culture as well as personal leadership skills. Ultimately, they provide an opportunity for amplification of student voice and an inspiration to promote growth for all students on your campus.
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“TEEN TRUTH’s Leadership Summit is an experience that is authentic, motivating, and will rock your school culture!”
Building School Culture Through Student Leadership
True student leadership isn’t about winning a spot on student council, being head of the debate team, or captain of the football team. It means being able to think critically about social-emotional issues, like bullying and inclusivity — and then creating a plan to improve school culture for everyone.
In Our Leadership Summits Your Student Leaders Will…
Name and describe the SEL issues affecting students across campus
Build a tangible action plan to solve those issues
Start improving school culture and inclusivity one step at a time
Why Choose TEEN TRUTH's Student Leadership Summit?
Our summits feature powerful live performances, award-winning films, and workshop-style sessions designed to include every student voice. Since 2006, TEEN TRUTH has reached more than 7,000 schools and our leadership experts have produced hundreds of summits in middle and high schools across North America. During TEEN TRUTH’s leadership summit, students will feel encouraged to express their creativity, while learning skills that improve confidence, teamwork, and problem solving. Each leadership summit we host helps to empower voice and build positive school culture.
What is the Outcome of a TEEN TRUTH: Leadership Summit?
TEEN TRUTH Leadership Summits spur campus-wide initiatives that improve school safety and build student connections.
Ideal for middle school or high school-aged audiences, our experts help students understand that being an effective leader is about more than producing dances, rallies, and theme days. Our action-packed summits teach student leaders the importance of their position, and motivates them to develop an action plan to alleviate difficult social-emotional issues on your campus.
How do Student Leadership Summits Build School Culture?
When hosting teen leadership summits, you can enhance school culture by allowing students to have a voice and direct input to their very own educational experience. Our summits allow for diversity, opinions, suggestions, and identification of solutions to issues that all help shape your school campus environment. We believe that every student leader has the capacity to lead by example which ultimately touches other students and promotes a positive culture for your school and your community.
Inspire student voice to provide an inside look at the critical issues facing students today.
Outline the blueprints of a strong school culture. Learn what it takes to create positive change.
Rally student leaders to take action and solve critical issues on campus.
Create a cohesive school community united by student leadership.
What Are the Benefits of a Student Leadership Summit?
Student leadership summits teach students the skills to thrive in school and their future careers. These summits are typically large-scale events that celebrate diverse student leaders and help further cultivate their skills to impact their school and community positively. At a leadership summit, hundreds of students gather at a school, conference center, or hotel to participate in leadership training sessions. Student leadership summits are excellent opportunities for students to feel appreciated for their citizenship and grow their leadership abilities. But how can these summits build a community and improve a school’s culture?
Building School Culture With Student Leadership
Through TEEN TRUTH’s work with over 7,000 schools, we have found that leadership summits can be crucial in developing a strong school culture. It’s one of the few times students have a voice and a direct opportunity to shape their educational experience on campus. Our leadership experts have produced hundreds of summits, and we’ve identified a few critical details that determine the effectiveness of your leadership summit.
Students Identifying Solutions
Is your summit focused on building social, emotional, and leadership skills? Or are you running students through a generic exercise and calling it a leadership training activity? If you want your summit to impact your school culture, it’s essential to have a leadership summit with engaging content, activities, and speakers!
While leadership exercises are fun (and needed to drive discussion), they shouldn’t be the central focus of a leadership summit. Instead, the main focus should be to understand the issues on campus and encourage them to come up with solutions to alleviate them. TEEN TRUTH’s leadership summit clients often consider these brainstorming efforts the most valuable part of the summit for their students and schools.
Improving Schools & Communities
A significant part of leadership is being interested in the community and caring about making it better. Leadership summits empower students to see where their actions can significantly impact their school district. It takes peer-to-peer engagement and active reflection on their environment to identify areas for improvement. Programs that share community, collaboration, and accountability messages can then give students the tools needed to take the next step to improve their community.
Students Leading By Example
A leader’s behavior can rub off on other students and set the expectations for everyone around them. Students learn behaviors and pick up perspectives from their peers, especially ones they respect. After a summit, students will return to their classrooms with a newfound sense of pride in their identity as leaders, encouraging them to be great citizens who treat others well and lead by example.
Why Are Student Leadership Summits Important?
When leadership summits are focused on finding ways to help students grow and building school culture, they work. Student leadership summits help students cultivate a variety of skills they’ll use in the future:
- Learning how to lead and follow peers
- Respecting other opinions
- Speaking and communicating confidence
- Making decisions and acting decisively
- Supporting teamwork and collaboration
They also offer these compound benefits for students:
Rewarding Student Success
If you give students a voice, they will respond by showing up and stepping up. Student leadership summits are an excellent way to tell your student body that leadership is an important trait; students who work hard to do the right thing and achieve academically will not go unnoticed! Some events also incorporate a celebration or ceremony highlighting the students’ achievements.
In addition, acknowledging a student as a leader can do wonders for their confidence. It is empowering to be told that you can do great things for your community. For some students, knowing that an adult, teacher, or counselor trusts them to continue to grow can be a helpful push in their self-confidence and personal development.
Preparing Students For The Future
Many student leadership summits serve the dual purpose of acting as career exploration. When paired with career-focused education, leadership summits allow students to interact with professionals in a given field and gain experience in a professional environment.
Inclusive Student Leadership Development Summits
Leadership summits are a great way to pull diverse groups of student leaders together. Yet, as our student leadership experts travel the country, we find that few schools host leadership summits, and those that do only focus on students in traditional leadership roles.
The next time you look to recognize student leadership, ask yourself, “Do I have leaders that represent the entire school in the room? What if I made a seat available for other students?” It could be powerful to open up a chair in your summits and student leadership meetings to non-traditional leaders. Adding different voices in the room creates a more significant buy-in across campus because a broader cross-section of leaders is involved.
Redefining Student Leadership
Traditional leaders who attend leadership summits are often current or incoming officers for student organizations, like student councils, school clubs/organizations, and sports teams. But, leadership can come from anyone in the school that cares about creating a better environment.
Student leadership summits can be a tool to redefine leadership in your school and help promote the idea that leadership does not require official positions, status, or popularity. From a student’s perspective, leadership can mean a variety of things. It may mean students in official leadership positions, like student council members, class presidents, captains of sports teams, and club presidents. It may also mean popular and well-liked students without traditional leadership positions. In some school cultures, particularly competitive academic ones, student leadership correlates with academic rank; students who are the best in the classroom are considered the school’s leaders.
What Makes a Great Student Leader?
Great student leaders can come in various shapes and sizes and can have many different backgrounds and experiences. Some common traits of student leaders include:
Communication With Other Students
One quality of a student leader is communicating with their peers in a mature, direct, and respectful manner. Great student leaders should be able to communicate with students, teachers, and staff during conflict or disagreement. A student who can start and continue an effective dialogue with other students is an excellent asset to a school.
Ability To Learn From Others’ Experiences
Another important trait in a student leader is connecting with students who have different life experiences and learning from other perspectives. In educational settings, students often encounter peers whose backgrounds are entirely different from theirs. This diversity is especially prevalent in public schools with a broader student demographic. Therefore, the ability to express empathy and an openness to learn from others is not only an excellent trait in a student leader but a trait that will serve them well in their future as a citizen.
Attending Student Leadership Summits
Many student organizations and school districts plan student leadership summits for middle school and high school students. Leadership summits are effective for many student groups, from general leadership to students pursuing various careers and vocational programs. TEEN TRUTH has had the privilege of hosting student leadership summits for hundreds of schools and districts across the country.
Are you looking for a way for students to attend a leadership summit? Teachers and school administrators that want to strengthen your school’s community can contact TEEN TRUTH to discuss creating their event or to discuss our leadership experts running their leadership development program. Parents and student leaders can find opportunities to attend these leadership development events through their school organizations and receive invitations and scholarships to participate in external leadership summits.
Host A TEEN TRUTH Leadership Summit
If you don’t have time to produce your own summit, consider bringing TEEN TRUTH in to help. Our staff has been performing leadership development summits for years. Our programs can change school culture overnight via our student leadership summit or our admin-focused school culture workshop.
A Final Message For School Administrators: Attend The Leadership Summit
The most impactful summits that we have seen are when top school administrators are in the room. Your attendance and involvement in the event are essential aspects that can make any leadership summit more successful. Yes, we’re talking about teachers, principals, counselors, and staff being actively involved! You need to be there. You need to be on the ground with them, listening, grabbing markers, pens, and paper. You need to enter their world, and your involvement shows respect for the ideas and solutions generated by the students! So plan to spend the time with your students. Block off your calendar. And be prepared to get your hands dirty.
If you want more help, support, and guidance on creating better student leaders, please get in touch with our office at (818) 237-5082.
How Can TEEN TRUTH Help You Build Student Leaders?
Host a TEEN TRUTH Leadership Summit!
JC Pohl, LMFT
President & CEO
If you’d like more information on hosting TEEN TRUTH, simply fill out this contact form and we’ll be in touch…
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