Emerging Leadership Summit for High School Students

The District Attorney Office’s Second Annual Emerging Leadership Summit was held in May 2013 at the Montgomery County Community College for select high school students, and their parents.  The Summit is an invitation-only event, created to bring together some of our most promising young adults and assist them with developing critical leadership skills they will need to lead our community into the future.  

Due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural Summit in 2012, the second event was expanded in 2013 to include additional speakers and students.  More than 175 attendees heard compelling and insightful speakers talk about their leadership experiences, both past and present.

Matt O’Donnell, morning news anchor from 6ABC, explained that experience has taught him that preparation is critical to becoming a leader, and he provided some simple advice: “Be prepared, show up early, and try the hardest!”  Kwan Morrow, a social media manager and member of the 2012 Montgomery County Community College Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame, discussed the applicability of leadership in today’s digital world.   

Steve Sterling, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Meemo, LLC, a virtual goods marketing, licensing and distribution company, emphasized that “passion trumps everything.”  Steve urged the students to find a career that they love, and ensured them that all else will then fall into place.  Steve spoke about the challenges he faces in his current position, and his past experiences as a Grammy-award winning music producer.    Montgomery County Sheriff Eileen Whelon Behr then shared her unique experiences, first as the County’s first female Police Chief, and then as the County’s first female Sheriff.  

Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, movingly spoke about her daughter, Alex, and the non-profit foundation that bears her name.  Liz discussed how the foundation grew so quickly, and explained that Alex’s Lemonade Stand began as a small project, intended to promote the charitable values and beliefs that her daughter had demonstrated during her life.   We made sure to have an Alex’s Lemonade Stand in the lobby for all of our Summit guests!
Tia McDonald, Director of Culinary Operations for the Vetri Foundation, spoke about their innovative “Eatiquette” program and how it transforms the public school lunch experience.  She also provided delicious “Eatiquette” box lunches for our guests to enjoy. 

Each student attending the Summit was asked to submit an essay addressing “what it means to be a leader.”  District Attorney Ferman selected the ten best submissions, and announced them during the Summit.   Each student received a $100 cash prize courtesy of TD Bank:

According to District Attorney Ferman, “Every young adult has the ability to become a leader who makes a difference, no matter who they are or what career they ultimately choose to pursue.”  Additional information regarding the Summit event can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MontCoDALeadershipSummit