Why Do We Do It?

Without passion and purpose young people may feel powerless and directionless, which leads many to make decisions that deter their future successes. Instead of taking charge of their lives, they’re often led by negative influences. This can be partly due to leadership skills–like interpersonal communication, empathy, and critical thinking–not being taught in the classroom and missing from their personal development. These are the deficits we work to improve, because when young people learn to be confident in who they are, identify their spark [passion], and understand the connection between education, and graduation, they become productive global citizens.

How we do it?

Powered by Service is one day, 4 – 6-hour intensive leadership program, powered by the Emory University Goizueta Business School and the Suntrust Foundation, which introduces middle school students to the benefits of servant leadership, explores career paths, teaches financial literacy, and nurtures their passions with an emphasis on education. Through peer-to-peer engagements with UNL alumni, students are able to identify their unique “spark,” while developing creative solutions to positively influence their communities. Students also explore the root causes of local issues and make a personal commitment to create and execute Powered By Service projects that address them. Upon successful completion, each student receives a Local Leadership Certificate backed by Emory University.

A One-of-a-Kind, Peer-to-Peer Experience

Students who attend Leadership Academy will participate either within their school or during a city-wide session at a UNL location.

  • Networking 101 – Students learn and practice the fundamentals of networking.
  • Personal Assessment – Students assess their interests, strengths, and weaknesses to discover their “spark” [passions]
  • Defining Your Brand – Students assess their current brand and image to understand how they can positively align their lifestyles with their “spark”.  They also explore how personal brands are directly related to social media presence.
  • Leadership 101 – Students will identify and discuss the traits of great leaders, while discovering which traits they share with the leaders discussed. They’re also encouraged and empowered to implement the principles that they learned in their school and community.
  • Exploding the Issue – Students are taught how to analyze issues they identify within their communities, then work collaboratively to create potential solutions.
  • Expressions – Students are provided the opportunity to share their “spark” with peers, support others sharing their “sparks” and demonstrate self-confidence.
  • Financial LiteracyIn conjunction with the SunTrust Foundation, participants will work collaboratively to explore the basic principles of financial literacy in a scenario-based format.

Ignite your spark