INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 4, 2020) — The NFHS hopes to reach thousands of high school students from across the nation July 20-22 with its first virtual National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS).
This year’s summit marks the 13th national conference for high school student leaders sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) since the inaugural event in 2001. The NFHS planned to host the NSLS in Indianapolis this summer; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summit will be broadcast in a virtual setting on the NFHS Network, which annually streams more than 100,000 high school events online at www.NFHSNetwork.com
“The NFHS is excited and thrilled to be able to offer leadership training in a virtual setting for our students who participate in athletics and performing arts,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports, sanctioning and student services and coordinator of the National Student Leadership Summit. “This is obviously an unusual year, but we are in desperate need to develop adaptable and pliable leaders. Our young people are ready to lead. They need training, honing of their skill sets and a chance.”
Despite the circumstances, hosting the summit virtually presents several advantages. Since the summit will be offered at no cost to the students, it allows more student leaders to receive instruction on improving their leadership skills and realize the privilege and power of their influence in their school, community and state. The students will receive instruction from a panel of content experts and two featured speakers.
Julie Carrier, who serves as this year’s opening general session speaker, is an award-winning speaker, Emmy nominated TV personality, author, 2002 Miss Virginia USA, and a senior leadership consultant to the Pentagon. Deanna Singh, who hails from Wisconsin, serves as the closing general session speaker. She is the author of three books, and she was recently recognized among the country’s Most Influential 40 under 40. In addition to being a gifted communicator and entrepreneur, Singh was recently mentioned in the Forbes Magazine feature, “An Awesome Black Woman Everyone Should Know.”
“As an organization, we have taken immense pride in the speakers we put in front of our young leaders. We feel that Julie Carrier and Deanna Singh could occupy a couple of spots on the speakers’ Mt. Rushmore,” Hopkins said. “These women are extremely talented and accomplished. With their talent, passion and communication skills, they could easily be Fortune 500 CEOs if they chose that career path. Carrier has shared her message of confidence, empowerment and self-esteem with millions. What makes Deanna so special is her skill to help people build bridges to each other. She is an excellent storyteller and an impactful example of determination.”
The content speakers include Deb Hult, a nationally recognized presenter in relational and motivational leadership and co-founder of Core Trainings who will speak on relationship building and maintenance; Gregory A. Dale, Ph.D., director of sport psychology and leadership programs for the Duke University Athletics Department, who will speak on effective communication with team, bandmates and adults; Omari Pearson, an author, speaker, facilitator, mentor and consultant, who will speak on “Brain Mapping (Goal Setting in the 21st Century)”; and Singh, who will discuss inclusion and perspective.
The virtual NSLS will take place via the NFHS Network each day at 12:45 p.m. EDT. Once registered, students will a receive a link to the Network’s coverage, which will be accessed each day, and can be shared with fellow students. Following highlights from past summits at 12:45 p.m., and general introductions, the content experts will make presentations at 1:10 p.m. and 1:50 p.m. each day.
The first day of the Summit features Carrier as the opening session speaker followed by Pearson with his “Brain Mapping” session. Hult opens day two of the summit followed by Singh, who also presents on the last day with her closing remarks. Day three begins with Dale’s workshop on effective communication for student-athletes. The summit will conclude at 2:30 each day.
“Considering what students have just gone through with canceled sports seasons, proms, graduations and other high school defining events, it is clear to us that this group of young people are resilient and extremely unique,” Hopkins said. “This is not the first world-changing event we have encountered in our history, and we doubt that it will be the last. The difference will be how prepared our young leaders will be when the next event arrives, how well they thrive and lead through it. We now have the possibility to reach tens of thousands of high school student leaders with our virtual summit setting. The scale and the breadth of this opportunity to positively influence these like-minded young people is staggering.”
The NFHS started the NSLS in 2015 after previously hosting the National Student Leadership Conference seven times (2001-03, 2007-10). As the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts, member associations felt the NFHS should continue its role in developing and nurturing the leadership skills of high school students.
For more information on the NSLS, visit www.nfhs.org/resources/conferences-meetings/national-student-leadership-summit/