New Student Leadership Institute announced

Posted: May 27, 2020

Program designed to promote selfless, faithful leaders

“Everyone is going to have opportunities to lead throughout the rest of their lives,” said social studies teacher Collin Quinn. “Life is about learning. So are you interested in the type of person that you’re becoming? Are you interested in what it means to be a whole and holy person? Are you interested in leading?”

A new student leadership program open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of the 2020-2021 school year will launch next fall. 

The Leadership Institute is a newly developed program by Quinn and David Hoffner, Minnehaha’s executive director of faith formation and economics teacher. 

“Our mission is to promote whole and holy servant leaders,” said Hoffner.

The Institute has three streams of leadership opportunities: The Fellows Leadership Cohort (FLC), the Athletic Leadership Community (ALC) and the Student Leadership Community (SLC), overseen by Quinn.  

The first stream, the Fellows Leadership Cohort, will begin in 10th grade with a group of 10 to 15 students who work through a three-year cycle centered around their Christian faith. The first year focuses on encountering Jesus and His story. A student’s second year in FLC focuses on encountering themselves and their strengths as a leader. 

“Who is Jesus as a leader?” said Hoffner. “Who am I as a leader?”

The third year focuses on analyzing the student’s place in the world, questioning how they are called to make it a more beautiful, just place. 

“We want to develop leaders who look back on their life and are able to say, ‘I made a meaningful difference,'” said Quinn. 

Each student will have a mentor to help them build a portfolio of what leadership should look like. Potential retreats, summer trips, on-campus experiences and a structured curriculum discussed at monthly meetings provide the opportunity for the students to learn as well. 

The second stream is the Athletic Leadership Community. Captains from each sport, and other athletes who wish to apply, will meet once a month over the course of their season to work on providing leadership in their sport. Captains from different teams will work together. The goal is to practice those skills on the court or field.  

The Student Leadership Community is the third stream, led by Lance Johnson and Anne Calvin, and open to mainly juniors and seniors. This stream is more flexible year to year on what goals members desire to focus on. Interns, leaders from different areas around the school and other members of this stream will meet once a month to talk about projects and goals for students.  

Applications will be simple.

“We’re looking for people that are hungry for growth and for learning,” said Quinn. “So we’re trying to put together an application that will measure some of that humility and hunger.”

The purpose of this program is to develop student and servant leadership skills, but also to connect different areas of the school community.    

“The goal of the Leadership Institute is [to unify] what I would say are these siloed areas where leadership was happening but wasn’t integrated,” said Quinn. “So you had great leadership happening in sports. It wasn’t maybe connected to the arts. Or you had leadership happening in the intern program but maybe wasn’t connected to some of the other places.”

With diverse areas of interest amongst the students, there are different goals. A hope for this program would be to align those goals. 

“We were all rowing our boats, but we’re all going different directions,” said Quinn. “The hope would be with the Minnehaha Leadership Institute, that it would provide a way for all of us to go the same direction.”


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