Hebron News

Six Mt. Hebron Students Graduate Leadership U Program

Last month, juniors Alexandra Mouangue, Justin Cargiulo, Co-Tu Doan, Evan Turner, Katey Wang and Zach Shane graduated from the Howard County Leadership U program.

The leadership program is intended for sophomores during the summer before their junior year. It is a four month program, spread out between summer and fall with graduation in December.

Every year, about fifty students from Howard County are selected for the program after submitting an application and participating in an interview, which is during the month of May. Selected students are then grouped based on interests and compatibility and get to participate in group-bonding activities before constructing a community service project.

“I had a lot of fun with Leadership U. I really enjoyed it. Just meeting new kids from all of the different school and working on our project to improve the community, that was really fun,” said Mouangue.

The program allows the students to visit different facilities in the county, such as government buildings, community service organizations and businesses.

“The summer week where we got to go out and do fun activities and do rock-climbing walls and obstacle courses was a lot of fun too because it created team bonding. Out of Leadership U, I made a lot of friends, so I enjoyed myself,” Mouangue further explained.

The program aims to help students learn more about their community including local businesses, non-profit organizations and the Howard County government. They work with students from all over Howard County to solve problems that the community faces, and they give back through community service.

Groups of students had the ability to create these projects with the county’s aid. This includes various businesses and government buildings.

“My community service project was environment-based,” Wang said. “I worked with my group to bring awareness to Howard County High Schools by putting up educational posters in cafeterias. Additionally, we met with local restaurants and worked with Ocean Conservancy for their ‘Skip the Straw’ movement. This entailed getting restaurant managers to sign pledges, which stated they would work towards bettering the environment by giving straws out on a request-only basis.”

Wang also described Leadership U as an opportunity to meet so many people and to help out in the community.

“The program is great because it is well organized and aided in building strong relations and networking skills,” Wang said. “The experience was very eye-opening and impacted me positively.”

The program is open to public, private and home-schooled sophomores, but also has a way for older students or graduates to participate. Volunteer opportunities and mentor programs are available as well, and events are hosted throughout the year.

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