The SOUTH CAROLINA YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE, a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization, is designed to provide an initial program on the fundamentals of personal leadership with ongoing follow up for those who complete the session.
The program seeks to bring together one sophomore from each high school in Eastern and Central South Carolina for a four-day conference each May at the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Hilton Head Gateway Campus.
The students are selected by their school principal and/or guidance counselor using a guideline provided by the conference. Essentially, it asks administrators to use their judgment in seeking those individuals who they believe to be among students with strong potential in leadership. These future leaders do not necessarily need to be among the “brightest” or be a “career oriented” student. Many believe good, strong leadership often comes from others within a student cohort.
It is important to note this initiative does not end with the close of the conference because leadership is an art it must be practiced. As such, students will leave the conference with the expectation their work is only beginning.
Further, students will compete for a scholarship [amount to be determined] to be awarded in 2017 based on their completion of leadership activities completed in the interim two years. The decision process will include various criteria set forth by the Advisory Board.
All participants in the preparation of this event are volunteers, full-time employees of the University of South Carolina Beaufort, local school administrators, government officials or associated with relevant organizations. The only paid persons are a small number of resident assistants at USCB during overnight hours at the accommodations of the students.
We are already engaged in the planning for SCYLC – 2017. An early invitation with specific information will be sent to all schools during October. Students may be registered at any time and may be done so online. We encourage all administrators to register their students early!
In subsequent years the vision for the conference is to expand to a statewide event that will include all 400 high schools. This is currently under review as the proposed magnitude would poses logistical problems in the current venue. The conference may have to be capped at 60 new attendees per event although alternative solutions are being considered.
In January the Executive Board will participate in a two-day seminar on organizational processes to further the growth of SCYLC. This program will seek to examine the best path in engaging additional students throughout the state.
In summary, the conference continues to develop and will do so in the years ahead. We anticipate ongoing, highly successful programs and, with the support of those on the Advisory Board, the conference will become a staple in Beaufort County helping to enrich the lives of those high school students who attend the conference.
Should you have any questions or need clarification on any aspect of SCYLC please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your interests.