Student Leadership Conference

Written by Samantha Wolfe

Photos by Lindsey Brand

The Student Leadership Conference, created in collaboration by TRIO, Student Life, and Student Affairs, took place on October 4 at FRCC Westminster. Attendees experienced several speakers and panels that focused on succeeding in spite of hard times, growing up, and becoming a leader.

Beginning the event were four students from TRIO who each discussed a time in their lives when they faced life-changing challenges such as injuries and financial setbacks and learned to overcome them. This was to introduce the next speaker, president of the Colorado Community College System, Joe Garcia.

Garcia, a Harvard graduate, discussed his experiences with roadblocks he had faced in his life due to his race and background. He worked as a political lawyer for years before taking a risk and moving to education, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Finishing the morning activities were several panels, ranging from lessons to be learned from the original The Karate Kid film to how to market yourself as a brand in order to become more employable. The Karate Kid panel focused on several key scenes from the film, such as the famous beer bottle scene, then analyzed what the film had to say about being a leader.

This was the second annual Leadership Conference. It’s put on by students, for students. Elizabethe Plante, a TRIO counselor, is optimistic about the future of the event. 

“It’s really the passion project of the director of TRIO, Liz Schwebach, so last year, it was her brainchild,” Plante said. “They went all out, and it was so successful that they decided to make it an annual event.” 

She is also optimistic about the event’s future. 

“We might open it up to all campuses, but we are always looking to improve and expand. It’s also an opportunity for other people on campus to step into their leadership.”

Some students attending the event were looking for a chance to be involved.

“It’s my second semester [at FRCC], and I wanted to be a part of the college community… I feel like everybody wants to be a part of the community and be heard. Everyone wants to inspire everybody and make sure everyone feels welcome,” Journey Scott, a student at FRCC said.

They hope the event will grow each year, though almost every seat in the room was full. Students clearly enjoyed seeing other students have the opportunity to be leaders and supported the event excitedly. Thomas Jannsen, another student at FRCC, summarized it best. “It’s best to learn from people who have already made the journey.”  
For more information on TRIO, students can check out this article.

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