The 2023 Leadership Development Conference was a resounding success! On Thursday, September 21, over 250 JAG students from across the state gathered for the annual conference at Phoenix College.
The conference commenced with an energetic welcome from Arianna Guerra, the State Career Association President, who highlighted the significance of the LEADS program and the opportunities it provides for leadership development. Arianna is a senior at West Point High School and in her second year of JAG and LEADS.
Prior to the conference, students run for office in their JAG programs and are peer-elected for roles such as; Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries, Historians, Treasurers, and Parliamentarians. Students in attendance were recognized for their leadership roles within their Career Associations. Committee leaders and those in supporting roles were also acknowledged for their contributions to their program activities.
Trevion Turman, the State President-Elect, led the Pledge of Allegiance, welcomed everyone and encouraged them to make the most of the conference as they learned new leadership skills, met fellow JAG students, and formed lifelong friendships.
Roll call, an interactive tradition at JAG events, added to the excitement as each program was announced, and students cheered for their schools. The atmosphere was electric as students displayed their JAG spirit.
Guest speaker Jenna Flores, National Career Association (NCA) Secretary, shared her inspiring journey from a JAG student to a national leader. She emphasized the importance of seizing opportunities and making the most of the JAG experience, encouraging all attendees to embrace their potential.
Frida Medrano, NCA President-Elect, followed with a passionate address, emphasizing the power of leadership and unity. She urged the students to embrace the unknown with confidence and courage, as they are the future leaders, change-makers, and innovators of their state.
The Blazer Ceremony marked a significant moment as University of Phoenix LEADS members were initiated into their roles, pledging to uphold the values of professionalism. State officers were also sworn in to lead the State Career Association with dedication and purpose.
Keynote speaker Dr. Kimberly Britt, President of Phoenix College, received applause for the college's continued support of the JAG program. Her commitment to student success and equity was acknowledged, and she was thanked for her partnership with JAG.
After lunch, the conference continued with engaging workshops providing valuable insights and resources to help students plan their Program of Work for the upcoming year.
The conference concluded with an ice-breaking activity that encouraged networking and camaraderie among attendees. JAG Coordinators also joined in the fun, demonstrating the power of teamwork through interactive games, while their students cheered them on.
The event also featured a Resource Fair held on the college lawn, where attendees had the opportunity to connect with 32 Employer and Resource partners. These partners provided valuable information, career guidance, and resources to JAG students, supporting their Career Association activities on campus and enhancing their understanding of post-graduation opportunities.
As we celebrate the success of the 2023 Leadership Development Conference, we invite individuals and organizations to join us in supporting our mission to empower young people to achieve success in education and the workforce. Whether through mentorship, partnership, or sponsorship, your involvement can make a meaningful impact on the lives of Arizona's youth. For more information, please email us at email@example.com or call 602-908-9263.