‘Success is a journey’ — The 2023 Charge into Leadership Conference at GHC 

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) recently held its 2023 Charge Into Leadership conference, which helps local college and high school students access leadership skills they can apply immediately and in the future. 

The event, held at the Cartersville site, kicked off with keynote speaker Steve Dennis, an internationally acclaimed entrepreneur, speaker, trainer and life coach. As the founder of Motivation Unlimited, Dennis shared stories of his personal life and overcoming challenges, as well as provided insight on the importance of continuous personal growth as one faces adversity. 

Students walking

“You have to ask yourself, do I know my purpose, or do I know my pain, because there is a difference,” Dennis said. “Purpose is the day you realize the reason you were born. When you discover your ‘why’ you discover your wings and then you can find your way.” 

Dennis also spoke to students on the importance of continuing to learn from others as they grow in their leadership roles. 

“Wherever you are you are leading at a powerful level, and that level only grows as you learn more,” Dennis said. 

Instructor speaking

Following Dennis’ presentation, attendees visited breakout sessions featuring GHC faculty, entrepreneurs as well as a Women in Leadership roundtable featuring GHC administration. 

“At the Charge into Leadership Conference, our diverse speaker panel was like a tapestry of inspiration. Witnessing these students inspired by the speakers was truly gratifying,” Associate Professor of Business Administration and event co-organizer Shanika Turner said. “I also loved seeing students from different majors connect, bond and discover the common thread of leadership. I look forward to witnessing further expansion of the conference next year.” 

Student Catherine Solis-Reyes was encouraged by one of her instructors to attend the conference, but after experiencing the day of leadership training, character building and the perspectives of a wide-range of speakers, she plans to attend next year as well. 

“My overall impression was that it was very motivating, fun and inspiring,” she said. 

Solis-Reyes shared a story of meeting another student during the conference and seeing how a day’s worth of leadership training and character building can have immediate effects on one’s perspective. 

“During the first breakout session that we had she said that so far, the conference helped her to gain courage and want to pursue becoming a math teacher which I was very happy to hear,” Solis-Reyes said. 

After graduation, Solis-Reyes plans to pursue a career in social media marketing. 

Speaker panel

“This was our third year organizing this event, and it was our most successful and largest by far,” Student Engagement Coordinator and event co-organizer Clifton Puckett said. “It was also our first time opening up to students from other colleges as well as the community, and it was great to see students from Dalton State in attendance, as well as some of our community partners.” 

See photos from the 2023 Charge Into Leadership Conference here.