Written by Blake Evans, AU graduate assistant.
Seven students from Notasulga High School met on Tuesday, January 21, to begin the first stages of what will become a student-led, school-focused project. This semester, the students will convene for weekly meetings to plan and implement a project that will strengthen the connection between themselves and their school. The project will redefine their traditional roles as students by encouraging them to examine their surroundings to identify what elements of their community, school, and student body can prove most beneficial in the implementation of a transformational, sustainable project. Their journey will provide them with opportunities that have the potential to increase their understanding of what it means to be true leader within their school, community, and beyond.
The first meeting of the semester gave students the opportunity to examine the strengths they have as a group, as well as the strengths of their school. When discussing the strengths of their group, students mentioned terms and qualities such as motivation, communication, teamwork, determination, and the importance of being involved. When discussing the strengths of their school, qualities such as discipline, family-atmosphere, safe environment, parent involvement, and historical value were mentioned. Strengths are often reliable
indicators of the values people consider important. Therefore, by examining the group’s strengths, students can learn and identify the valuable skills they can use in the future to make a positive impact. Also, through examination of their
school’s strengths, students can identify what values they can utilize as part of their project to eventually strengthen the overall outcome. Furthermore, by identifying common values, the odds of developing a sustainable project increase significantly.
Students also wrote short autobiographies that will be used in the near future to build a group blog. The blog will be used as a medium for information between the seven students, their friends, teachers, family, and the Notasulga community. It will be a useful tool for the students because they can use it to build awareness and involvement. Steps for the new group blog will continue to be taken next week at the second meeting. That meeting will also provide students an opportunity to continue analyzing values that are important to their group and school so they can begin narrowing down ideas for potential projects.