Youth leadership summit set

Published 3:52 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

Students in the Heart of Virginia will hone new skills and interact with area leaders during a youth summit, set for Tuesday. The inaugural Leadership Farmville Youth Summit, sponsored by the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce and developed through efforts of area school leaders, is set to take place March 27 at Hampden-Sydney College’s (H-SC) Bortz Library. Dr. Amy Griffin, superintendent of Cumberland County Public Schools, said she was inspired to spearhead the event based on the Leadership Farmville program sponsored by the chamber.

Dr. Amy Griffin

“What we wanted to do was expand it to youth, to high school students,” Griffin said.

She said high school students from Prince Edward County High School, Fuqua School and Cumberland County High School, approximately 20 from each school, will take part in the event. She said the summit, which will take place 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., will have a series of panels, break out sessions and training programs to best help students develop leadership skills in their careers and communities. The keynote speaker, Griffin said, will be Dr. Tom Epperson, president of InnerWill, a nonprofit division of Luck Stone, which produces stone, sand and gravel in the U.S. InnerWill is a leadership development program that uses a method called values based leadership to motivate employees to succeed, the InnerWill website noted.

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She said panels will include a small business panel with speakers Chris Brochon from the WFLO radio station, Claudia Meinhard with Centra Southside Community Hospital and Nash Osborn with The Fishin’ Pig. A local government panel will take place in which Dr. Odessa Pride, Hampden District Supervisor from the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors; Vivian Seay Giles, County Administrator and Attorney with Cumberland County and Farmville Mayor David Whitus will discuss their experiences relating with local governments.

“We have a lot of great sponsors,” Griffin said about local support. She said members of the chamber have contributed to goody bags that will be distributed to students.

Griffin said students will be able to participate in break out sessions where they will learn the concept of digital footprints or monitoring their social media activity, from Julia McCann, project manager with Letterpress Communications; learn more about networking, resume building and seeking internships in high school from the H-SC Ferguson Career Center; participate in activities related to thinking about one’s future with Longwood Career Services, and the Longwood Small Business Development Center will discuss entrepreneurship. Griffin said she hopes the event will encourage students to be proactive in building their own leadership skills.

“We really want them to look at, what does leadership look like in the business world, and what does leadership look like in government, and how they can look at their futures as they’re planning to go to college or planning to go right into a career,” Griffin said.