More than 70 delegates from four local high schools were on Lee’s campus Thursday and Friday for “Illuminate,” a service-learning conference hosted by Lee University’s Leonard Center.
Students from Bradley Central, Cleveland, Tennessee Christian Preparatory and Walker Valley High Schools gathered on Thursday for the conference with featured speakers Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for student development at Lee, and William Lamb, director of Leonard Center. Hayes and Lamb discussed servant-leadership, service-learning, what service looks like, and how to serve the community.
“This has been a phenomenal experience,” said CHS sophomore Jake Gibson. “We learned how to be leaders without even talking – how our actions can make the difference.”
The students reconvened on Friday for hands-on training as groups were sent to Prospect Elementary, Cleveland Boys & Girls Clubs, Havenplace and the Community Garden, putting into action what they learned on Thursday.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for our students,” said Penny Howell, BCHS teacher. “Some of them have never participated in a service project and it’s great to see them thinking about ways to serve.”
Lee alum Rebecca Ball and Ann Pickens, SGA sponsors at WVHS, both commented on how great it was just to see students from all four schools working together for a common purpose.
“Lee University values its partnerships with the local schools and looks forward to continual opportunities to support service-learning in our city and county,” said Mr. Lamb. “The students attending this conference reflect a generation that is raising the bar in their sphere of influence and commitment to serving others.”
For more information about Lee’s Leonard Center or other service-learning opportunities, call 614-8614.