INDIANAPOLIS – “Leadership is something that not everyone can do well, and that no one truly masters.”
These words come from Kirsten Lockwood, a student athlete at Mississinewa High School, who will be participating in this year’s Summer Leadership Character and Development Academy (SLCDA) at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
Lockwood is one of more than 90 students participating in SLCDA nationally and is ready to attend.
The academy is a weeklong leadership program designed to challenge our nation’s top-performing high school students by teaching them to put service above self and how the Marine Corps teaches leadership.
The week consists of physical training, workshops and meeting with influential speakers around our nation’s capital.
Even with all of the week’s challenges ahead, Lockwood isn’t too worried.
“I expect to be pushed to the limit in order to be able to grow as a person and become a physically stronger athlete, as well as learn how to complete tasks and work together,” said Lockwood. “Skills developed through rigor and through impactful situations are ones that can stay with a person throughout the rest of their life”
Lockwood is no stranger to hard work.
According to Lezlie Winter, the assistant superintendent of Mississinewa Community Schools, Lockwood is currently enrolled in the most rigorous schedule that her school offers and she maintains a 4.0 cumulative GPA. She is also a varsity volleyball player and varsity basketball player.
“She is an extraordinary talent helping both teams be competitive in a very tough conference,” said Winter.
“Athletics have helped shape who I am, and the skills I have learned from being a teammate transcend the skills I have learned on the court,” Lockwood added.
She also volunteers at food drives, soup kitchens, summer athletic camps for children and volunteers heavily in her church. Lockwood is a member of the Crimson Pride Band and the Ole Miss Singers, the top band and choral groups in her school.
“I believe because of her strong moral beliefs, outstanding work ethic and compassion for others, she is a sleeping giant,” said Winter. “She has a tremendous capacity for independent work and the desire to channel her ideas in creative ways.”
With Lockwood’s tight schedule, she has become a master of time management but she wants to push herself further into becoming a better leader.
“There are many things I hope to gain from SLCDA. I want to take part in learning new skills that will not only help me grow as an athlete but as person and leader,” said Lockwood. “I feel that SLCDA would be an amazing place to develop the leadership skills and character traits needed to be successful in the future as a person, a teammate, and as a student.”
Winter concluded that all of Lockwood’s accomplishments are due to three important characteristics. “Kirsten’s a successful student and person due to her high level of motivation, her well-developed work ethic and her ability to get along well with others.”
“SLCDA is the first step in becoming a person who can have profound impact on the world,” said Lockwood.
The staff at Mississinewa Schools has no doubt that she will.