How to Develop Student Leadership

by Kaylee Nguyen | September 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
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Ed100 announces new year-round program to help student leaders and leadership organizations

At the start of the Pandemic in 2020 I had the great opportunity to get involved in creating the first online summer conference for the Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders. It was an inspiring, volunteer-driven response to the crisis — a three day virtual event to help students understand the education system and learn about organizations they might want to join. We evolved the program last summer. A team of student volunteers took on big roles in leading it, and we experimented with some new ideas.

Thanks to input from students and partners, for the 2021-22 school year we are taking a new, bigger approach. Building on our past work, we are re-defining the Ed100 Academy as more than just a summer conference. The Ed100 Academy is now a year-round membership program for student leaders. It’s free, and any student can apply NOW.

Our core focus remains unchanged. We aim to help student leaders get involved with organizations that need their energy, talent and perspective. But summer isn’t always the most powerful time to help these organizations or to make connections. This year we will aim to provide support and connections on an ongoing basis, not just in the summer.

Discussion sessions

For example, members of Ed100 Academy will be invited to participate in monthly online discussion sessions. These free sessions will be an opportunity for students to learn about the education system, connect with student leaders from all over the state, and contribute their ideas. Our first event for members of the Ed100 Academy will be a student-led discussion on Tuesday, Oct 19, 2021 at 6pm. Students can reserve a spot with this form: Ed100 Academy kickoff discussion

New: Getting adults involved

Opportunities for high school students

The California Instructional Quality Commission (ICQ) has an opening for a student member. They have not received a lot of applicants! Application and letters of recommendation DUE FRIDAY Sep 24. High school juniors only.

The California State Board of Education includes a student member position with full voting rights. It’s the highest office a student can hold in America. Learn more. The application and letters of recommendation are due Oct 8. Instructions.

The Student Advisory Board of Education conference (SABE) will be held online October 30-Nov 1, and students will present recommendations to the State Board of Education on Nov. 3. Applications for SABE are being accepted now. All high school grades.

In the year ahead, the Ed100 Academy’s team of student Outreach Ambassadors will be working actively to recruit the help of at least one adult ally in each high school community. This is a new strategic focus for us, and we’re really excited about it. The idea is simple: there should be at least one adult point of contact in each high school community who makes sure that students hear about the Academy and apply for it. It’s easy, and anyone who knows the student leaders in a high school can do it.

Here’s the sign up form for adult allies, which includes more information. Again, we need at least one adult ally in each high school community.

Why it Matters

It has never been easier for student leaders to speak out. It has never been easier for young people to have access to meetings, or to learn about issues that matter. But developing as a leader takes practice, and feedback helps. I’ve been inspired by the adults who have taken the steps to inform students about leadership opportunities and truly invest in their development. We have a terrific team of student Outreach Ambassadors, and a good strategy. With the help of adult allies and a shift to approaching the Ed100 Academy as a program, I’m optimistic that we will be able to support student leadership development in hundreds more high schools this school year. California will benefit from its student leaders finding their voice and power.

Kaylee Nguyen is Director of Outreach and Admissions for the Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders. She is a student-athlete in her junior year at UC Berkeley studying English and Psychology.

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