By Christine Bordelon
Students entering eighth through 12th grade can register through July 8 for Venerable Henriette Delille’s first youth leadership institute at St. Mary’s Academy July 19-21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus, 6900 Chief Liar Blvd., New Orleans.
“The administration was talking about what we could do to instill leadership in our daughters as well as young girls in the community,” said Pamela Rogers, assistant principal at St. Mary’s Academy, founded by the Sisters of St. Family. “(The Venerable Henriette) was avant-garde and truly a leader before her time.”
As the conversation evolved, it focused on Venerable Henriette, founder of the Holy Family Sisters and a New Orleans native, and how she was a born leader and great spiritual role model. Venerable Henriette is the first American-born African American whose cause of holiness is valued by the Catholic Church.
“We felt that if we could bring women together in this community, we could instill those characteristics and allow her legacy to live on through other young women and empower them to be who she was,” Rogers said.
The leadership institute, launched with a grant from the Black and Indian Mission Fund, has three components: self-knowledge, empowerment and self-mastery. Through hands-on activities, participants will define their vision as a servant leader, how to communicate and influence others effectively, work in teams, set and achieve goals, and manage their time. Bart Berry’s Youth Leadership Assessment and a Personality Type Assessment will be used.
“We’ve already used different types of information to develop this,” Rogers said, citing historical information about the Venerable Henrietta from the sisters’ and school’s archives. Lecturers from the Institute will include Holy Family Sisters as well as professors of religion and university pastoral team leaders at St. Mary’s Academy.
On the last day of institute, teens will develop a group project: a community or school project that they would like to implement. If a student is not attending St. Mary’s Academy, the service project template will be forwarded to their school for review, Rogers said.
“Over the three days, we will help the girls understand their leadership skills and how to use their style to have an acceptable impact on the community and others around them,” Rogers said. “We have a lot going on with social media – so we’re going to talk about how to use social media in their own programs and activities on their individual school campuses.”
Scholarships are available to allow everyone to have access to the institute.
To apply or for more details, visit www.smaneworleans.com or call Pamela Rogers at [email protected] (504) 245.0200, ext. 121; or Tamiko Massey-Haynes at [email protected] (504) 245.0200, ext. 119; or visit www.smaneworleans.com.