Leading Edge Institute is a weeklong conference in Montgomery in which three women from each university in the state are sent to learn about how women can thrive in leadership.
Shelby Scott, a sophomore psychology major from Tallahassee, Florida, had the opportunity to participate in the institute in 2014, and will be recognized on Feb. 22 for her graduation of the program in Birmingham.
Scott was asked by John Kline, the head of the Institute for Leadership Development, to attend the conference.
“It is a really cool program,” Scott said.
The women who attend the conference learn about issues prevalent in Alabama by being informed on public issues, sitting in on the Alabama Supreme Court and talking to judges. They also get the opportunity to learn conflict management.
Jasmine Mack, a sophomore biomedical sciences major from Linden, also attended the conference from Troy University.
“LEI was a great experience,” Mack said. “This program provided me the assurance that I can achieve any of my goals, regardless of obstacles in my path.”
Each attendee must create three different projects over the course of eight months. These include advocacy, action and mentorship projects.
Scott’s advocacy project was “to advocate for higher campus involvement through the freshman pledge class of my sorority.”
“I’m raising money through the fraternities and sororities for a reading room and computer room for Open Gym at First Baptist of Troy,” Scott said in regard to her action project.
Open gym is a program on Wednesday afternoons where Troy elementary school students come to First Baptist after school and get help with homework, play games and learn Bible stories.
“Poverty-stricken kids come and get much-needed attention,” Scott said. “It is a great volunteer opportunity.”
Scott is being mentored by Megan Carson, the director of Open Gym at First Baptist. Carson is helping Scott “with finding the best methods to raising money and how I should carry out my project,” Scott said.
Open Gym has become a priority in Scott’s life as she builds relationships with the children. It has also opened her eyes to the poverty of Pike County. This eye-opening experience is what made Scott want to focus on Open Gym for her action project.
On Feb. 22, Scott attendedw a banquet lunch for a shorter networking conference along with her graduation. “LEI is networking,” Scott said. “We will each sit at a table with people in our respective professions and get the chance to talk to them about what we want to do.”