Student Ambassador ProgramCreating a culture of leadership development and engagement in K-12 schools

In 2015, Walnut Grove High School in Loganville, Georgia implemented the Student Steering Committee Leadership Program in partnership with the Fanning Institute. Using the institute’s Youth Leadership in Action curriculum, the program helps students develop leadership skills through a multi-phased and comprehensive approach in order to improve school climate, student achievement and behavior outcomes.

Through the program, students learn about the characteristics and behaviors of effective leaders; identify individual leadership preferences, communication methods, conflict management strategies and steps to effective goal setting; and practice their leadership, communication, and strategic project planning skills by developing and implementing a school-based service project.

Since the project began, approximately 300 students at Walnut Grove High School have participated in the program and graduation rates have risen from 78.3 percent (2013-14) to 93.6 percent (2018-19). The program was selected as a winner of the 2019 Judges National Award of Excellence from the University Economic Development Association (UEDA), a “Four for the Future” award from Georgia Trend magazine in April 2020, and the Innovations in Community Leadership Award presented at the Fanning Institute’s annual Community Leadership Conference.

For more information on developing a Student Ambassador Program for your school, contact Lauren Healey.


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