‘Charge Into Leadership’ connects community leaders with students

Students from across all of Georgia Highlands College’s sites came together recently for the “Charge Into Leadership Conference” at GHC. The day-long event featured guest speakers like the motivational speaker Quentin Lee.

Lee, who is the principal of Chlidersburg High School in Talladega, Ala., kicked off the event by presenting his viral parody music video he created for his students to raise awareness on the importance of staying safe amid the COVID pandemic. The video has over 6 million views on YouTube and was featured on Good Morning America for helping represent the impact of positive leadership practices.

Central to Lee’s presentation, however, was how the influence of others and their leadership helped shape the person he is today.

“You can either have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. So, I challenge you, what are you thinking? If you think you can’t do it then it cannot be done,” Lee said. “But if you think you can do it, you will work hard with everything that is in you to make sure it is done.”

In addition to an entrepreneurship speaker panel, students attended breakout sessions with GHC faculty and staff covering aspects of leadership as well as a “Women in Leadership” roundtable.

Session topics included discussions of social media, time utility and work-life balance and how developing and applying different leadership styles can “cultivate positive results in others and in oneself.”

Student Astrid Cuellar-Benitez, who attends classes online, said the entrepreneurship speaker panel stood out to her as providing valuable “nuggets of information,” as well as the Time Utility and Work-Life Balance workshop presented by Joy Hambrick.

Cuellar-Benitez said she enjoyed the “one-on-one” aspect of the breakout sessions. She cited Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Economics Oris Guialleame’s session called “Motivational Leadership: The Power of Now” as especially impactful.

“His story of being an immigrant and following his dreams – that was truly inspirational to me,” Cuellar Benitez said. “We would ask him a couple of questions and he was able to really able to engage with us through his answers and would also ask the group thought-provoking questions.”

Coordinator for Cocurricular and Transitions Programs for Clifton Puckett said the event was a success with positive feedback from students, faculty and guests.

“This conference promotes our mission of developing skills in our students that they can take with them as they take their next step in life, whether it be transferring, graduating or maybe even starting their own careers or businesses,” Puckett said.