For a group of South Gwinnett HS entrepreneurship students, a three-day summer conference at Emory University was an inspiring and empowering learning experience that set the stage for their study of economics during their senior year. The 2018 Leadership in Action seminar focused on economic development strategies and leadership and communication skills. The students networked with peers from around the world as well as community leaders to explore solutions to economic issues.
“The conference really helped me see the beauty in understanding different viewpoints when looking for the best economic solutions,” says Jamaia. She and classmate Gabrielle cited discussions on global poverty as high points of the conference, while Sydney says she worked to develop more effective communications skills. Jaeyln says the experience is helping him to plan his future and explore how he can make a difference. “I learned that change does not happen overnight and you have to initiate events in order to see results,” he says.
Entrepreneurship Teacher Franchesca Thompson says the conference gave the students exposure to new ideas as they discussed world issues and debated economic concepts with students of different backgrounds and beliefs. She sees this eye-opening opportunity as a jumping-off point for participants. “My ultimate dream is that they will use this knowledge and economic thinking to create change in their class, community, and the world,” she says.
South Gwinnett is one of seven Gwinnett high schools using the College and Career Academy model. The students are part of the school’s Business and Hospitality Academy which offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, with career pathways in Marketing and Management, Entrepreneurship, Web and Digital Design, and Culinary Arts. Students learn GCPS Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum through a career-related lens, with hands-on learning experiences, integrated lessons, business elective classes, tutoring, mentoring, and internships.