Students challenge themselves in Leadership Challenge Event


courtesy of Leadership Institute

High school participants work eagerly during the 2021 Leadership Challenge Event. 37 teams will be competing this year.

The Leadership Challenge Event is a two-day orientation and simulation/competition that allows students to test their leadership skills in a real-world environment.

The orientation consists of guest speakers that hold a variety of workshops to develop the participant’s leadership skills. The simulation allows students to experience a realistic crisis scenario in the fictional world of Metropolis, Kansas. Within this scenario, students will take on professional roles and work towards finding a solution.

The LCE is organized by the Washburn University Leadership Institute. LCE is a completely student-run event overseen by members of the Student Leadership Council. This year as an LCE Fellow, Taton Smith is organizing this event with the help of the Leadership Institute team. The main members of the team include Shayden Hanes, sponsorship coordinator, Emilio Chavez, banquet Coordinator and Abby Fette, volunteer coordinator. They plan all aspects including creating the content for the simulation, orientation, banquet, marketing and promotions, organizing volunteers and collecting sponsorships.

This event will take place March 3 and March 4, with the orientation taking place at Washburn University and the simulation and competition taking place at the Maner Conference Centre. The LCE is open to high school and college students from the surrounding area and across the country who wish to compete and test their leadership skills. For 2022, 37 teams are competing. The furthest team coming to the competition is from Virginia. Washburn students can also get involved by volunteering for the event, or helping get all aspects of the event ready by joining the LCE team. There is no individual registration. Students must register a team of 5 members.

“The event is run by student and community campus volunteers. Our event is going to be big this year and we are really excited,” Fette said.

It also helps to provide the city of Topeka and the surrounding area with additional opportunities for community advertising and promotion. There are also sponsorship and partnering opportunities, as well as additional business and commerce from conference participants, sponsors and outside volunteers.

“By participating in this event, students will gain a better understanding of leadership, teamwork, community issues and much more,” Smith said.

Upon completion of the LCE, an awards ceremony will recognize competitors who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills, problem-solving and decision-making tactics. A variety of awards will recognize both individual and team achievement. Winners will receive plaques and will be recognized on the LCE website.

The link for registration is:

Edited By: Ellie Walker, Simran Shrestha