The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy Kickoff event returned to Delta State Sept. 21, bringing over 300 Mississippi high school students and administrators to campus.
The event kicked off the year-long Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, a program to be held in over 12 Mississippi high schools that teaches leadership skills and empowers students to put those skills into action.
A major goal of the Leader Academy is to inspire students to remain in school and become leaders within their communities. Students will take part in monthly leadership labs at their schools and complete several service projects in their community.
The kickoff included multiple events and is an integral aspect of the students’ initiation into the academy.
Beginning with an assembly at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, the students received detailed information on expectations and goals, and heard direct testimonials from schools that have participated in the past.
The major service event followed, as students took part in their first Impact Project of the year, sponsored by Feeding Children Everywhere. Students, administrators, and Delta State University volunteers worked together to pack 84,672 non-perishable meals to feed needy children in the Delta and beyond.
Schools that attended this year’s kickoff event included: Bayou Academy, Coahoma County High School, Gentry High School, Madison Palmer High School, Lewisburg High School, Delta Streets Academy, Hartfield Academy, Lafayette High School, St. Aloysius High School, Velma Jackson High School, Vicksburg High School, and Warren Central High School. Several schools were not able to attend the kickoff but will participate in the program with their schools.
Elizabeth Joel, coordinator of Continuing Education at Delta State, worked closely with Chick-Fil-A throughout the year to plan the one-day event.
“We are excited to start our second year partnering with Chick-fil-A and Feeding Children Everywhere,” said Joel. “The Delta State campus was overflowing with bright young leaders on Sept. 21. It is our hope that our Delta State family and campus will impact their lives and this program.”
She added it is a wonderful opportunity for Delta State to host over 300 students who are the future community leaders.
“We want to demonstrate how important community involvement is at Delta State, in hopes these students will bring their developed, compassionate leadership skills back to us when they attend college,” she said.
In addition to hosting the kickoff event, Delta State departments and student organizations will attend the leadership labs in the high schools over the next year to serve as mentors, especially in the area of community involvement, social issues and thoughtful leadership.
The Leader Academy is funded completely by Chick-fil-A stores throughout Mississippi. A team of Mississippi Chick-fil-A operators are spearheading the project. They will work closely with registered high schools as they complete their monthly leadership labs and multiple service projects for their communities.
Learn more about the program at https://chickfilaleaderacademy.com.