January 04, 2013

Media Advisory -- Youth Leadership Day

Area high school students will have an opportunity to further their leadership skills next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover any and all events of the fourth annual Southern Illinois High School Youth Leadership Day on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.  Participating students were selected by their respective high school principals and teachers based on their special interest in politics and government, and their potential as promising young leaders.

The event begins at 8:15 a.m. with welcoming remarks by David Yepsen, Institute director, and SIU Carbondale Chancellor Rita Cheng.

Developing leadership begins at an early age, Yepsen said.  The workshop is among several the Institute sponsors throughout the year, including the annual Youth Government Day in Springfield and the Paul Simon Leadership Conference for junior high and high school students from the Metro East.

The program’s emphasis is to allow student leaders from throughout the region to come to campus for a day to focus on leadership, understand what it is, and how to be a better leader, Yepsen said. 

“It’s a chance for them to hear from us and from experts on campus -- and for them to interact with each other as they share ways they are providing leadership in their schools and communities,” Yepsen said.

Yepsen said it is also important to have an event for area high school students on campus.  Because it is prior to the start of a new semester students can meet in quiet surroundings and have the opportunity to get a good look at SIU Carbondale, Yepsen said.

Students who are attending come from schools including Cairo High School; Carbondale Community High School; Century High School; Christian Fellowship School, Du Quoin; Du Quoin High School; Elverado High School; First Baptist High School, Danville; Frankfort Community High School, West Frankfort; Herrin High School, and Red Bud High School.

The sessions will including a focus on leadership traits and how those can impact a student’s career choice; successful tips for emerging leaders; why public policy and government is important for high school students; and a public speaking workshop that will emphasize the fundamentals of crafting and articulating a point of view.

The speakers will include Steven Farias, a doctoral student in speech communication and member of the award-winning SIU Carbondale Debate Team; Patrick Rottinghaus, an associate professor in psychology; Barton Lorimor, a 2011 SIU Carbondale graduate and policy analyst on Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s staff; Linda Baker, Institute/University professor; Emily Burke, an Institute program coordinator, and Charles Leonard, a visiting professor at the Institute and Simon Poll director. 

An event schedule is available at paulsimoninstitute.org/.

For more information, contact Matt Baughman, Institute associate director, at 618/201-0082 or by email at baughman@siu.edu.