Leadership Academy Day 4: Inspiring!

Day four of the A.P. Torrence Youth Leadership Academy can be described only as inspiring! Students were introduced to two, influential Atlanta leaders: Mr. Vince Sims-CBS 46 News and Mr. Keith T. Parker-CEO of Goodwill of North Georgia.


Mr. Sims told students that because of his line of work, it becomes even more important that people trust you and believe what you say. He reminded students that just as words have power, words can kill: use your voice, not fists, guns or violence, to influence people in a positive way. Mr. Sims also challenged students to: (1) get their education; (2) avoid conflict; and (3) find their passion.



Student were then introduced to Mr. Keith T. Parker. Gathered in a circle, Mr. Parker posed a challenge question to the students: What kind of life do you think I grew up in? Mr. Parker shared that he grew up in poverty, but never really felt poor. So he gave the students a challenge: What are you doing now to make sure you achieve your dream by 30? Mr. Parker advised students they must:


1. Prepare for leadership.

2. Choose your friends wisely.

3. Volunteer for leadership opportunities.

4. Make a positive difference.

5. Practice financial literacy.



In the afternoon, Counselor Darkese Wicker led a session on speaking and presenting. Darkese emphasized that energy and enthusiasm are important in getting your point across and presenting yourself with confidence.


Students were joined later with a visit by Paradise First Lady, Mrs. Evelyn Harper. Armed with their new communication skills, each student introduced themselves to Mrs. Harper.


Professor Ken rounded out the session on communication. To test the students on what they were taught, they were given a challenge. Guess what? Our students passed with flying colors! The lesson learned: when you work together, you can accomplish something great.


Students celebrate winning the communication challenge

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