Kenya Kelley at St. Johns River Community College reported to Historic City News that students Aubrie Simpson and Shawna Petrello recently attended the Lawton Chiles Leadership Corps held at the University of Central Florida.
The two-day event was designed to inspire more than 260 college and high school students to become involved in the “Worst to First” movement, a statewide initiative to move Florida from “worst” to “first” in education and child welfare. Government, academic and business leaders, such as keynote speaker and former President Bill Clinton, shared advice and inspired participants to develop strategies for improving Florida’s educational policies.
Simpson said that the conference provided her with a greater understanding of the educational issues faced on a statewide and national level. The civic engagement workshop she attended provided first-hand experience in speaking with the media. “The training I have received has inspired me to fight for education because children are our future, and we need to invest in our future,” said Simpson. Simpson said she looks forward to spreading the word among her peers and getting other students involved in the initiative.
As an education major, Petrello said she felt compelled to become part of the LCLC’s inaugural class and embraced the opportunity to become a voice for the future of Florida’s education. “I was inspired by the number of young students in attendance who shared my passion for giving every child in Florida the same opportunities as children in the other 49 states,” said Petrello. She added that although the speakers came from a wide variety of backgrounds, they all provided information that students can use as a building block and a resource to improve Florida’s educational system.
To find out more information about the Lawton Chiles Leadership Corps call (850) 385-7800.
LCLeadershipCorps.jpg – SJRCC students Shawna Petrello (left) and Aubrie Simpson (center) recently attended the Lawton Chiles Leadership Corps where they had the opportunity to meet with leaders such as Geoff Chiles (right), grandson of former Governor Lawton Chiles and coordinator of the LCLC.