Lakeland gets leadership opportunity

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 21, 2018

Lakeland High School Principal Douglas Wagoner sat in the library with 29 carefully chosen students to give an introduction to the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy on Friday afternoon.

The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is a national high school leadership program focused on impact through action. The program lasts the entire school year and ends in a large “impact project” that will make a difference in the community.

Wagoner said Lakeland was given the opportunity from the Chick-fil-A on Main Street, and he was more than happy to accept the invitation.

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“I barely slept last night, because I’m so excited,” Wagoner said. “I know you’ll enjoy the entire experience.”

Wagoner, along with other staff, carefully selected 29 students to participate in the program.

“It was a very intentional selection, because we wanted to get a good cross-section of the school,” Wagoner said.

The students chose include all grade levels, athletes, non-athletes, heavily involved students and students that are new to community service.

Their first day of the program was filled with plenty of explanation and icebreakers to get the students in the right state of mind for what the rest of the year will hold. The group will meet once a month to learn leadership skills, hear inspiring stories and brainstorm community service projects.

They will complete two community service projects, and their community impact project will be something they coordinate on their own. Along with coordinating the event, the group is challenged to invite 10 friends to join. If all 29 students invite 10 friends, a total of 319 students will be involved in the service project.

Wagoner is hoping for something big.

“I want this to be amazing and newsworthy. I want this to be huge,” Wagoner said.

All of the students will earn community service hours for their time in the program, and it will give students a chance to be more immersed if they haven’t been very involved yet.

“I know some of you have done a ton of community service, and for those that haven’t, this will be eye-opening,” Wagoner said.