There are certain institutions where the teachers do not allow the students to have any leadership roles, or encourage the growth of their leadership qualities. Stephen Varanko is however absolutely against this concept. He mentions that student leadership would allow the children to enhance their skills as leaders, and can over the long run be applied in their future jobs. Stephen himself has been involved in organizational leadership in high school, and hence is well-aware of the impact a student leader has on a child. He is an alumnus of Randolph Macon Academy, and had made his way to both the dean’s and president’s list there.
Being successful in high school is way beyond just earning good grades. In addition to solidifying one’s academic foundation, high school also provides people with the opportunity to develop new skills, make friends, as well as craft a path for their future. Stephen Varanko especially mentions that getting involved in extracurricular activities during high school can be extremely advantageous for the students. While Stephen himself has quite commendable academic achievements, he also took part multiple extracurricular activities, usually in leadership roles, during his high school years. He had been the president of the student government and the honor council, as well as a student agent of the alumni association there. He also served as a group leader in Habitat for Humanity and the Awareness Presentation Team of his school.
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Equipped with his personal experience, Stephen Varanko brings to light the benefits of student leadership in schools would include how to learn well with the peers and build a solid resume, in addition to developing a host of important social skills. Stephen says that while wanting to become a leader is important, it takes a lot more than just desire to become one. The qualities of a good leader are not a thing that is inherited; one in fact has to work hard on it.
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All students must try to work as hard as they can on their leadership skills in their school. While trying to achieve this goal, they must try and master some of its fundamental aspects like:
- Organizing skills
- Action planning
- Strategic thinking
- Risk management
- Communication skills
- Decision-making skills
The core basic aspects if these skills can be learned by students of any age. Once they get a solid foundation of the important leadership qualities, they can gradually build upon it. They must try to acquire skills like resiliency, culture management,collaboration and emotional intelligence later on in their life, while trying to get a good grip on the aspect of organizational leadership. Among its various elements, team building is one of the core factors of student leadership which can be honed by trying to lead their peers in groups and games. These students would gradually learn how to make the strengths work for the whole team.