Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Leadership Honors Forum 2011

One of the highlights of my academic year is co-teaching the Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Honors forum at Pearl River Community College. In 2004, the Leadership Honors Forum (LHF) class at PRCC’s Poplarville Campus began to use the semester’s end to put theory into practice. After fourteen weeks of learning about leadership, students of the LHF use the last two weeks of class to imagine, design, create, and implement a service project or fundraiser to benefit a cause or a part of the community of the class’s choice.

Since 2004, eight classes worked hard toward the common vision of servant leadership through projects such as: working to raise handicap accessibility awareness on campus, beautifing the campus grounds, and volunteering at the local nursing home; students have sponsored charity softball games, sold catfish and BBQ plates, and have hosted dog trial events to raise funds for those in need. Over the past eight years, the students of Poplarville’s LHF have raised, in aggregate, nearly $10,000 for organizations such as Brothers’ Keepers Ministries, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and the American Diabetes Association, as well as for individuals needing assistance offsetting medical costs.

This year, the 2011 class of the LHF conceived and implemented (in just under three weeks) a bake-sale, crawfish raffle, and catfish fry in conjunction with Cuevas Fish House and Coca-Cola. The students chose to donate their proceeds of $2323.76 to Mrs. Sabina Brown,an English Instructor at Pearl River Community College, who is fighting breast cancer. The thoughts and prayers of the class are with Mrs. Brown as she fights cancer. The 2011 class worked diligently throughout the semester and has demonstrated in no small way these last two weeks their leadership skills.

The 2011 class of the LHF embodies James C. Hunter’s observations that “(t)here is great joy in leading with authority, which is serving others by meeting their legitimate needs.”