Preparing new leaders
July 14, 2021
Three members of Culver Academies’ Leadership Committee for Africa and sponsor Angie Strobel ’98 made a special presentation at the National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS) conference in late June. Incoming seniors Ally Barath (Munster, Indiana), Maya Jyothinagaram (Forsyth, Illinois), and Maddy Taylor (Valparaiso, Indiana) covered how LCA made the pivot from external leadership training to internal training during the pandemic.
LCA received a Moulton Grant from NCGS in 2019 was to be used to purchase and donate items for students at Christel House – South Africa while on the group’s 2021 Global Pathways Spring trip. But with all travel cancelled due to COVID-19, the group turned its focus to conducting workshops on campus.
Katherine Beeson (Culver) and Brianna Small (Culver) were also members of the grant team but were unable to participate in the NCGS presentation because of summer commitments, Strobel said. Barath, who will be the LCA chair this coming school year, came on board to fill their spots.
LCA traditionally presents workshops on compassionate listening, leadership strengths, team building, and communications while at Christel House, Strobel explained. The girls shared examples of the lesson plans, activities, and strategies for building community with the NCGS audience.
Strobel explained that since the compassionate listening and team building workshops are designed with Christel House students in mind, Taylor Lewandowski '21 and Jenna Pae '21, who were on the last GPS trip, led those workshops for the other students. The team building and communications workshops are part of the leadership curriculum at the boarding school, she said.
The group also covered how LCA continued to support Christel House, the School of St. Jude in Tanzania, and The Amani Children’s Foundation through on-campus fundraisers and donations. Those included the penny wars, bake sales, and the traditional bead sale. A new event, the LCA Color Run, served as an additional way to educate the general student population about LCA’s involvement with these programs.
The Moulton Grant is for $1,000 and was originally intended to cover the costs of materials for the workshops. Strobel said LCA was going to purchase the materials after the group arrived at Christel House to help stimulate the local economy and reduce shipping costs. During the meeting, though, NCGS altered the requirements to allow LCA to spend half of the funds to support Christel House if needed.
“The program went really well. The girls did a great job,” Strobel said. They closed their online session by talking about getting the right students involved and finding the right leaders. And, she added, they were contacted by members from another girls school located in Africa that is interested in the LCA program.