Young Leaders Program

john raley

This month the Leadership Live! team hosted attorney John Raley who shared his incredible experience representing Michael Morton with the Innocence Project.  Michael Morton was wrongfully accused of his wife's murder, and served 25 years in prison as an innocent man.  Mr. Raley shared insight into the highs and lows of the experience as he searched for and defended the truth.  Mr. Raley spoke about the fact that he felt completely unprepared for the challenge, and yet knew he would not quit until his client was free.  After his talk, Mr. Raney answered our students' many questions about the case, including the role that DNA evidence played througout the years.  Kudos to the Leadership Live! team for hosting another fantastic speaker.  If you weren't able to attend the event, we recommend you watch the documentary “An Unreal Dream” learn more about Michael Morton, John Raley, and the important work of the Innocence Project. 

Summerhouse Service 2

We've just completed another great semester in Leading with Service where students create extraordinary solutions to make the world special! Our student leaders organized into groups and worked on five projects supporting Texas Wildlife Center, The Summerhouse, St Dominic's Nursing Home, Wesley Community Center and the Periwinkle Foundation. Students wrapped up the semester by creating multimedia presentations that included photography, videography, and website creation.  Check out some of our student portfolios to get a taste of what they've been up to.

  • Heal the HeART | This is IWA’s first group to partner with The Periwinkle Foundation to provide fun art activities for cancer patients. They also left the patients with a “mega basket” of fun craft items to encourage and lift the spirits of the patients and their families.
  • Helpin' Summerhouse Blossom | This group worked with The Summerhouse.  After meeting with Director Donna Fruge, the girls discovered that the biggest need for the organization was a new shredder to continue helping young adults with special needs learn job skills. The team hosted a series of bake sale campaigns to raise money to fund the purchase of a new shredder. They also fostered a relationship with the young adults at Summerhouse by enlisting their help in packaging the baked goods. To culminate the project, the girls have invited the young adults to IWA’s Christmas Concert and hope to present The Summerhouse with a shredder in the beginning of 2018. 
  • The Ohana Project | Partnering with Looscan Elementary, this group aims to bring leadership content to younger students in low-income neighborhoods. Their daring destination is that kids will be inspired to be leaders in their own communities. They will be hosting two after-school sessions where the students will learn leadership through fun games and activities while also learning about some inspiring leaders from history.

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YLP hosted its first Leadership Retreat to encourage leadership development for all students in leadership organizations and clubs across our campus. Alumnae Teresa Stranahan was our keynote presenter and shared key Improvisation skills that can help us become better leaders. We learned to fail & fail big, listen & collaborate, and to practice "Yes and.." 

IMG 8613 articleIWA’s Young Leaders Program kicked off the eighth season of its distinguished leader speaker series yesterday with a new brand and a distinguished guest: Mr. Chase Untermeyer, former ambassador to Qatar under President George W. Bush.  Now in its eighth season, Leadership Live! is a student-run speaker series that invites distinguished leaders from the Houston community to IWA to share the stories of their lives and their leadership journeys with IWA students in an informal setting. 

This season’s first speaker, Mr. Untermeyer recently published the book “How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public.” He has previously held elected office in the Texas State Legislature, served as a United States diplomat, and is now a professor, a consultant, a businessman, and active in serving the Houston community.   

Untermeyer noted that among all of the many different kinds of positions he held and industries he worked in there was one common thread: leaders at all levels.  He explained:  “There are lots of different programs of leadership, there are courses taught, there are institutes, there are military styles and corporate styles and civic styles of leadership.  I really think it all boils down to the same thing which is: the willingness of a person to take on a task usually for the good of other and the ability to carry it out. The key to successful leadership is remembering that you are by no means the most important person.  You are merely there to help other people.”