MHS student chosen to attend leadership conference

Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Gracie Harrison, a 10th grade student at Maplesville High School, has been selected to participate in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference at Troy University.

“I really didn’t think I was going to get it, but I’m really excited,” Harrison said.

She said she is looking forward to learning “how to be a better leader” and meeting new people at the conference.

TR Mims, a MHS student who attended the conference last year, had encouraged Harrison to apply, saying he had enjoyed the event.

To apply to the conference, Harrison wrote an essay about leadership, drawing from her own experience. She said she focused on “the good and bad things that can happen when you are in leadership,” including challenges and conflicts to being a successful leader. She outlined these challenges as dealing with conflict within the group and leading when someone does not agree with the decision being made.

At MHS, Harrison has served in leadership roles as class president, cheer captain and club officers. She said being the cheerleading captain has been the most difficult.

Harrison began taking leadership roles at MHS when she was in seventh grade. She was class president as well as involved in leadership Junior Beta Club, cheerleading and softball.

Harrison said she enjoys leading because she likes helping people.

“If they are struggling with something, I can help them, if it’s something that I’ve already dealt with,” Harrison said.

According to the Troy University website, the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference “provides an opportunity to build on leadership skills already possessed by the student ambassadors … Students will hear from a wide variety of speakers on volunteerism, public and civic service and current events. They will also develop skits, write papers and meet with business and government leaders during the weekend.”

The conference is held in May each year.