Inside the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center, Terri Boone enjoyed meeting and listening to leaders from different walks of life.
The Clinton High School (CHS) junior was one of many students who received inspiration during the 2017 7th Congressional District Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurial Conference. She believes it’s a good idea for students such as herself.
“It shows us how we can give back to the community and we learn from people who have done distinguished things in the community,” Boone said. “I think it’s a great opportunity.”
Rep. David Rouzer hosted the third conference Wednesday for high school juniors in the 7th Congressional District. The purpose is to provide juniors from each high school a chance to meet entrepreneurs an discuss ways to achieve success through personal and professional skills.
“I think it’s a great chance to learn leadership and see the different perspectives of people and learn how they would demonstrate their leadership abilities,” said Chris Daughtry, a CHS student.
Close to 100 students were selected by their high schools to participate.
“My whole aim behind this is to get them exposed to folks who’ve been successful entrepreneurs,” Rouzer said. “It gives them ideas and creates an opportunity for these students to pursue their dreams and aspirations.”
Some of the topics during the conference involved integrity, personal development and business skills.
“It all goes back to values-based leadership and understanding that if you’re going to be successful, there’s certain principals that precedes success,” he said.
Some of the other presenters included members of the Gen. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center at North Carolina State University. Dr. Myra Moses, coordinator for Curriculum & Technology, said it was an honor to return after participating in 2016.
“This connects with the Shelton Leadership Center’s mission of helping to develop and support the next generation of values-based leaders, which is why we come and do this work with the students,” Moses said. “It’s helping students look at how we look at using communication, problem solving, leadership skills in an ethical way to address issues that are facing all of us.”
Moses was accompanied by Cameron Rutledge and Tykori Saunders, leadership training specialists. Other entrepreneur and leaders present were Col. J. Quincy Collins, a retired United States Air Force veteran and Vietnam prisoner of war; Dr. Craig S. Galbraith of the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Marsha Prestage, co-owner of Prestage Farms.
Blake Bellanger, a student from New Life Christian Academy, said the conference is a good change to meet other people from the congressional district.
“There’s people from all over the state come here today,” Bellanger said. “It’s really interesting to see how many different perspectives are here.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.