Student leaders from Santa Barbara County high schools, supported by parents, grandparents and well-wishers, attended the Global Leadership Connection Awards Ceremony at Westmont College’s Page Hall on Sunday, culminating their participation in the two-day conference co-sponsored by UCSB and Westmont.
This year saw 150 juniors, the largest number of student leaders ever attending in Santa Barbara, taking part in the sessions and vying for 16 awards.
Each student, after being nominated by his or her school to participate, submitted an application including a written essay and received an individual and group interview by leaders in the Santa Barbara community. Awards of financial scholarships were given based on a specific set of criteria.
The Global Leadership Connection was begun by Carole Harder, a speaker who has facilitated more than 3,000 productivity and self-management seminars throughout the country. She has participated as a team-building communication life coach for the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Beijing. She has been motivating young people for more than 30 years and has brought other GLC chapters to UCLA, San Diego and Iowa. She is especially proud of the UCLA chapter, as it will be run by college students who formerly participated in GLC programs.
Community leaders serve on the Leadership Team as volunteers, led by chairwoman Kim Busch.
“In order to confront and tackle the challenges our ever-changing world faces, we need strong leaders and these leaders will come from the young people in our community today,” Harder often says. “We must give them the recognition and support they deserve from their family, peers and community.”
At Sunday’s ceremony, each student was acknowledged for his or her leadership roles in school, academic success and volunteer efforts in the community. The students stepped up to the podium and microphone to introduce themselves and to speak of their college hopes and plans.
The four students receiving special awards and an all-expense-paid trip to the GLC Leadership Experience in Washington, D.C., where they will meet with other GLC students from across the country, are:
» Bela Lafferty of Dos Pueblos High School — Jamie Harder $1,000 Scholarship
» Andrew Vignolo of Laguna Blanca School — Busch Family $1,000 Scholarship
» Anastasia Kunz of San Marcos High School — $500 Patrick Family Scholarship
» Brock Dickey of Santa Ynez High School — $500 Patrick Family Scholarship
» Ambassador Awards of $100 were given to the following students: Autumn Hersey of Cabrillo High School; Jason Paras of Dos Pueblos High School; Gabrielle Huffman of Santa Ynez High School; Grant Sexton of Bishop Garcia Diego High School; Mitsi Gamble of Laguna Blanca School; Alex Rickman of Dos Pueblos High School; Raquel Cabellero of Cabrillo High School; Luis de la Palma of Lompoc High School; Estafania Contreas of San Marcos High School; David Wagstaffe of Santa Ynez High School; Grace Woolf of Laguna Blanca School; and Talia van Wingerden of Bishop Garcia Diego High School.