From July 17-19, LEAD Hampton Roads, a program of the Hampton Roads Chamber, hosted its eXcel program with 30 local high school juniors and seniors participating. This summer youth leadership program is designed to develop critical career and life skills while building an appreciation of our region and its many opportunities. Modeled after LEAD Hampton Roads, the widely known executive leadership program of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, eXcel sets the stage for future success in both college and the “real world”. The experience provides training and connections that assist students in accelerating their high school success and in building strong resumes and college applications.
During the classroom portion of eXcel, students completed the DISC personal leadership assessment tool. DISC is a self-scored behavioral assessment commonly referred to as a profile. Behavioral styles are grouped in four categories: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.
The three-day program kicked off with the President of Regent University, Dr. Carlos Campo, addressing the group. The group then rode on Norfolk’s light rail, The Tide, to the Chrysler glass studio, followed by a hard hat tour of the Chrysler Museum, which is undergoing construction and remodeling.
On July 18, the class met City of Chesapeake Mayor Alan Krasnoff, who discussed his background and municipal affairs. The class enjoyed learning more about city government and had the chance to ask the mayor questions. A tour of APM Terminals was the next stop, followed by a “behind the scenes” tour of Lifenet Health in Virginia Beach.
Participants had a unique opportunity to tour the USS George H. W. Bush. Students learned how an aircraft carrier operates and spoke with military leaders. During the visit at SunTrust Bank, Mark Johnson (LHR ’04), Vice President of Community Development, provided a presentation about financial planning. The program concluded with speaker Delegate Daun Hester (LHR ’89), followed by a graduation ceremony.
Here’s what some of the participant students said about eXcel:
“eXcel showed many hidden opportunities and important pieces that make our region very important internationally and locally.” – Quintin Brown
“eXcel changed my life a great deal. It is an experience I will never forget and that I truly cherish. I made some great connections for the future! The tour of the U.S.S. Bush was by far one of the best tours I've ever been on!””- Malaika Karriem
“I learned a lot more about how our area functions. I learned how leadership is so useful in business and other areas of life besides sports.” - Michael Wynn
“I realized how much this region really has to offer.”- Ian McClain
“I have seen new locations that the city has to offer. I also have a new sense of respect for the area and its importance.” – Ericka Jacobs
LEAD Hampton Roads thanks the SunTrust Bank Foundation for its sponsorship of this year’s eXcel program.