Nearly 50 of Grambling State University’s best and brightest freshmen were initiated into the Student Leadership Initiative on Nov. 19 in the Betty E. Smith Nursing Building.
Beverly Hill-Hercules, executive director of Title III programs, and Vivian Larkin, first lady of Grambling State, created the Student Leadership Initiative for incoming freshmen with natural leadership qualities.
“We really wanted to focus on building great leaders for the world of tomorrow,” Larkin said. “Initially, we were interested in establishing a Black-male initiative, but we quickly realized there was a larger need to work with the incoming freshmen. We wanted to make sure those students know about Grambling’s resources, can persist, deal with challenges, rise to the occasion and graduate in four years. We realize that this organization fits with one of the missions of the university to increase enrollment, student retention and four-year graduation rates.”
The organization promotes leadership, professional behavior and academic excellence. The Student Leadership Initiative will host events, workshops, service-learning opportunities and guest speakers who will inspire these students to becomes active and successful leaders in the community.
“We also recognize that it is important to prepare these students for the world of work, graduate school or wherever they may find themselves on their future paths to excellence,” Larkin said. “We want to help the students learn professional and soft skills that will help them to be competitive in the global society. We want them to understand what it takes to be an effective individual, to deal with challenges and what it means to be a leader. These are the students we are encouraging to learn leadership skills, because we want them to serve as student leaders at Grambling.”
The student members are currently designing the group’s new logo, and the winner will receive a $50 gift certificate for books. They will be provided with tablets to help complete school assignments and maintain the required GPA of 2.5 and higher and jackets to promote professionalism.
“Being in this organization means a lot to me,” Taylor Bolden, a freshman psychology major, told The Gramblinite. “This will impact my life at Grambling State University, because it will help me make more executive decisions that will affect me now and later in life. The things I learn will help me with the job I get and when I continue my career in the workforce.”