St. Charles students get direction in leadership from the community

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2008


Staff Reporter

LULING – Local community and business leaders devoted a morning to the youth of St. Charles earlier this month when, in a bid to increase leadership in the youngsters of St. Charles, they mentored New Sarpy Elementary students at the 1st annual Leadership Breakfast for the New Sarpy Elementary Jr. Mudbug Mentors.

At the Leadership Breakfast, student leaders had the opportunity to meet with local community and business leaders to gain first-hand knowledge about leadership.  

“I think they are getting a tremendous amount of leadership,” said mentor and St.Charles Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto. “They have stepped up to the plate. They are speakers for the class. They are getting a road map for their future.”

The Jr. Mudbug Mentor program was set up by officials in New Sarpy Elementary to assist students in developing the skills to become effective leaders in preparation for programs in upper level grades, such as student council.

“We focus on three core issues, dependability, initiative and integrity,” said counselor Tiffany Cologne. “Their biggest role is too lead by example.”

The program began by having the third grade at New Sarpy select 15 of their peers to become leaders.

“Our big focus is that these kids have been chosen by their classmates,” said Cologne. “I think that needs to be stressed. They are viewed as leaders by their peers. What better compliment to have than to be respected by your peers?”

As part of the mentor program the students will attend leadership classes twice a month during their enrichment hour usually reserved for P.E., music or art.

In addition, the students will be tapped for special events at the school as ambassadors to the general public as ushers and other positions.

The next event for the program will be to visit the Destrehan High School where they can learn from older students leaders what will be expected of them.

They hope to visit the school in April. In the meantime they will continue their bi-monthly meetings.