Washburn challenges, equips future leaders

Rubbing Elbows Shea Kirsop (left) and Ed O’Malley discuss the leadership Challenge Event and O’Malley’s organization’s role in relation. O’Malley is the president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center.

Washburn University hosted its second Leadership Challenge event last week. There were 100 students and 20 advisers from 20 high schools and eight universities.

A lot of students enjoyed the activity to improve their skills and extend their networks.

Washburn University Leadership Institute is an organization that establishes an innovative platform for leadership education. They want to provide more opportunities for students to access a real working environment.

The Leadership Challenge Event is an annual event hosted by the Washburn University Leadership Institute. It is a unique inter-scholastic and inter-collegiate leadership competition. It enables high school and college students to participate in an organized competition that simulates real-life experiences. Students can learn how to deal with the realistic problems from the event. The activity encourages leadership development by offering participants education, hands-on experience, and recognition in a competitive environment.

“Comparing to the first Leadership Event, we expect more from the second one,” said Shea Kirsop, student director of the LCE®. “We changed materials and theme this time. We focused on community.”

The event was a two-day activity consisting of a half-day leadership conference and them a full-day interactive leadership simulation. The simulation incorporated a combination of a broad range of leadership responsibility, both as individuals and as a collective leadership team, along with a spectrum of situational influences that encouraged requisite adjustments and leadership initiative.

The conference provided an unique opportunity to all participants and allowed them to experience leadership in a professional and applicative scenario. To equally judge the performance of students, organizers separate high school students and college students into two different groups.

To extend the participation among students, a lot of volunteers joined in on the leadership event. Volunteers were divided into three group including team coaches, judges and simulation role players. Volunteers guided and judged the performances of students.

“It is really good,” said Abby Habiger, a freshman in nursing. “It is my first time to join in the Leadership Challenge Event.”

Sponsors also played a major role in supporting the event. Without the assistance of them, students will lose a chance to improve them.

“I learned a lot from the conference,” said Billy McElroy, a sophomore at Cair Paravel Latin High School. “I experienced the inside of business such as how to work together.”

The Leadership Event helps students learn how to work with others and access to real working environment.