Community: Montevallos next leaders

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The 2007 class of Montevallo&8217;s Leaders of Tomorrow program visited the Family Connection facility in Alabaster recently for the Challenge Course in team building.

This was the first in a series of monthly programs for these seventh-grade students, and is designed to help them learn about their community and to guide them toward fulfilling their potential of becoming good leaders.

Six years ago a small group of business, city and University leaders approached the middle school with a plan for helping develop students into high-quality community leaders. Thus the Leaders of Tomorrow venture was born. The program is a joint project of the community and the school.

Board members are directly involved and the project is financed by donations from local businesses.

Susan Beard, MMS counselor, says of the program, &8220;I am impressed by the relationships built through Leaders of Tomorrow and amazed at the level of closeness among students who might not have normally befriended each other.

But, it&8217;s not just about field trips and making new friends:

LOT develops the leadership skills of our young people and then requires them to apply these skills to new situations, such as public speaking, presenting to groups and facilitating meetings.&8221;

Students are selected for the program because they have leadership ability regardless of any academic or socio/economic standing.

The basic idea is that there are all kinds of leaders and that most choose their direction, right or wrong, during the critical middle school years.

After a year of classes in leadership development and learning excursions the LOT graduates will become next year&8217;s Montevallo Middle School Ambassadors