High school students from across Alabama and Florida came to Troy University on Thursday for Freshman Forum’s annual leadership conference, to learn how to effectively lead groups of people and become more employable.
“It’s teaching them leadership skills that they can use not only in high school but in the future, in college,” said Sarah Messick, a freshman elementary education major from Montgomery who serves as the Freshman Forum co-conference director. She said she was eager for students to potentially use the experience to learn more about being on campus.
“Hopefully it will draw them into Troy and just kind of show them what Troy has to offer,” she said.
20 schools and 320 students were in attendance with the chance to pick between workshops focusing on communication and interviewing, social media do’s and don’ts, time management and more.
After sitting in on the communication and interviewing seminar, George W. Long High School senior Katie Mixon said she felt prepared to present herself to colleges and employers.
“As a senior, you have to be prepared for scholarship interviews,” Mixon stated. “I’m about to go out on my own, so I have to be able to have stuff for a job.”
Each group of students had a pair of Freshman Forum group leaders to escort them around campus. Business management major and Mobile native Sam Rehm said the group leaders tried to make students feel comfortable on campus.
“We do ice-breakers with them, get them all warmed up—that way they’re all energetic and can get used to the day.”
After a student led tour of campus, Rehm said attendees could walk away from the event knowing at least one Troy Trojan.
“(This) kind of lets the kids know a first-hand person at Troy,” he said.
Amari McCreary, a freshman exercise science major from Wetumpka, and the co-conference director, said the event took months of planning.
“It’s actually very exciting to see our hard work pay off,” she said. “It’s kind of sentimental knowing that we did it and had all our delegates also help us and it’s just been a great experience.”