Monday, Day One:
Students arrived and planned to gather for Day One of the Student Leader Summit. As part of the orientation, students met their group mentors and workshop leaders as well as other engaged students from across the country. After some ice-breakers, Student Leaders met for dinner with keynote speakers Kim Wilkerson, South Carolina State President and David Kennerly, Pulitzer prize winning photographer. David shared photos from his experience photographing historical events, including U.S. presidents. The evening set context for the week to come as the Student Leaders prepared to take on D.C.!
Tuesday, Day Two:
In the morning, Student Leaders visited some key monuments—the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. Workshops discussed the leadership that each of these historical figures played in shaping our nation’s history and the challenges of each era in history. Later, the students shared an expression of thanks for our nation’s service members as they gathered for a photo on the steps of the Capitol. Students prepared for Capitol Hill by examining the legislative process and participating in a mock Congress. In addition, students learned about the Opportunity Index as a factor in determining economic opportunity in communities across the country.
Wednesday, Day Three:
Student Leaders visited Capitol Hill to meet with their Congressional members. The meetings were an opportunity for these motivated young people to learn more about being engaged citizens and offered Members of Congress a chance to connect with young constituents who are passionate about their citizenship and ability to effect change. In the afternoon, students participated in a session focused on how to be savvy with social media, learning the do’s and don’ts of sharing information online. Through an interactive game, students challenged their financial know-how and discussed ideas on how to manage finances.
Thursday, Day Four:
The theme for the day was hunger—brought to life by a service-learning project at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) and a film screening with a panel discussion. At the food bank, Student Leaders helped pack nearly 4,000 food packages for senior citizens, as well as 3,000 weekend meal bags for children. The Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. distributes millions of pounds of food annually to partner agencies that serve food to insecure individuals and families.
In the evening, students engaged in a panel discussion focused on the film, A Place at the Table, which examines the issue of hunger through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity. (To see a trailer and learn more go to: www.participantmedia.com/pm-films/aplace-at-the-table) Panelists included: Clay Dunn, Online Community Director, Share Our Strength, Lindsay Guetsehow, Senior Director of Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Participant Media, Barbie Izquierdo, Witness to hunger featured in the film, and Nancy Roman, President and CEO, Capital Area Food Bank.
Friday, Day Five:
As the last day of the Student Leaders Summit kicked off, students heard from Barbara Bush, CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps and Andrew Plepler, Global Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Policy Executive at Bank of America about their paths towards leadership. Some of the themes discussed were mentoring and the importance of finding your voice. Later in the day, students shared their reflections about the week and what they would bring back to their communities across the country.