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Business faculty explore leadership with local high school students

11/17/2010 —

Galen Godbey and Michael Krasja, both members of Penn State Lehigh Valley's business faculty, gathered with 40 members of William Allen High School's Latino Leadership Club to explore leadership and entrepreneurial models at the Charter Partners Institute Farm in Williams Township on Saturday, November 6.


Godbey and Krajsa worked with the students in developing and exploring business and organizational models.


"It is great having the opportunity to work with these young leaders, listening to their ideas and dreams, and supporting them," said Krajsa. "I was impressed with their passion to improve themselves along with their compassion for others who need help."


Godbey, who is also on the board of Charter Partners, said that the students really respond to opportunities to identify and own problems, and to pursue them through teamwork. "Collaboration is an absolutely essential skill for the global creative economy. That these kids get to choose the focus of their work gives them a sense of autonomy and purpose."


Ferdinand Surita, adviser to the Latino Leadership Club, praised the event for giving students "the opportunity to dream with their eyes wide open about the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurial leadership and innovation, and to visualize themselves in leadership roles."


As a result of this event, Penn State Lehigh Valley is working with the Latino Leadership Club at William Allen, and possibly their counterpart organizations at other high schools, to schedule a visit to the campus in Center Valley to attend classes and meet with Penn State students and faculty.


Surita stressed the importance of making connections with community groups such as Charter Partners and institutions like Penn State. "My kids need encouragement and opportunities to show what they can do. And they can do a lot!"


Charter Partners Institute is a nonprofit organization that promotes entrepreneurship and leadership and often hosts events for high school students to learn about these concepts.


For more information, please contact University Relations at (610) 285-5067 or e-mail aag18@psu.edu.

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