Over the summer, outstanding students from across Texas attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy for a week of fun, learning, leadership development, and to visit unique and historic Texas destinations. Among those who participated is Stone Middle School eighth-grader Drew McNeal.
Drew was nominated for the Leadership Academy based on his outstanding academic success, leadership ability, and involvement in school and community activities.
The young Texas leaders, representing communities across the state, traveled to Dallas/Fort Worth (4th, 5th and 6th graders), Austin/San Antonio (5th, 6th and 7th graders), and Houston/Galveston (6th, 7th and 8th graders) to take part in the camps.
At the weeklong camp in Austin and San Antonio, Drew’s highlights included touring the Texas State Capitol and appointments for each leader to visit the Austin offices of their state legislators, visit the burial site of Stephen F. Austin, “Father of Texas,” and other famous Texans at the Texas State Cemetery, sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court of Texas, traveling through Texas’ largest cavern, Natural Bridge Caverns, seeing the largest urban bat colony emerge from under Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge, touring the site of the most celebrated military engagement in Texas history, The Alamo, and gliding across the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River on a glass-bottom boat. The leadership skills of the day tied in with the daily tours. Skills included determination, responsibility, listening, teamwork, and action.
The Lone Star Leadership Academy experience provides a unique opportunity for outstanding students to learn about Texas leaders and what it means to be from the Lone Star State. Participants discuss what they learn, complete problem solving and decision-making simulations, exercise creativity, and practice presentation skills in leadership groups. In addition, participants have fun meeting other outstanding students and making new friends while adding to their resume of academic achievements, developing leadership skills, and bringing home a wealth of information to supplement what they are learning in school.
“This was my second time to go to the academy, and I plan on going again,” said Drew.