The Midland Young Leaders Challenge with General Tommy Franks consisted of a leadership and character development workshop for 30 of the top performing
high school juniors in Midland County. Students participated in the program at no
cost, thanks to sponsorships from the Henry Foundation, Paul & Katherine Morrow Foundation and Nanette & Dennis Sever. The program was held in partnership with Midland College and the Midland Independent School District.
During the workshop students participated in panel discussions, team building and
information sessions detailing the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute’s “Four
Stars of Leadership”—character, communication, common vision and caring. Students
were challenged to improve their leadership ability and confidence through persuasive
communication, character and leadership development. In addition, participants were
able to engage with General Franks, Joe Crookham and prominent Midland leaders.
Prior to the workshop, students were required to write an Op Ed article based on their
perceptions of leadership. Workshop curriculum consisted of leadership and ethical
scenarios that challenged students to address them in a persuasive speech competition.
Midland College faculty coached students as they wrote and presented speeches. The
winner of the Op Ed article and the top two winners of the speeches were awarded college
scholarships at the concluding banquet held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, at
the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center.
The students, their parents and community members attended the banquet featuring a
keynote address from Michael Williams and remarks from General Tommy Franks, both
of whom are Lee High School alumni.
In addition to the winning Op Ed article and speeches, a scholarship was also awarded
to the Star Leader, the student who was selected by program participants as exhibiting
true leadership characteristics. College scholarships were presented as follows:
- $3,000 scholarship – Chesley McDonald, Trinity School of Midland for the Star Leader award
- $2,000 scholarship – Miles Baker, Lee High School for 1st place speech
- $1,000 scholarship – Jocelyn Bent, Lee High School for 2nd place speech
- $1,000 scholarship - Claire Keck, Midland Christian School for winning Op Ed article
Jocelyn Bent will also attend the week-long Four Star Leadership summer program July
8-13 on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City. The program
is sponsored by the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum.
“Midland College appreciates the opportunity to work with the General Tommy Franks
Leadership Institute and Museum as well as with MISD,” said Midland College President
Dr. Steve Thomas. “We look forward to hosting the event again next year.”
Pictured from left to right are MC President Dr. Steve Thomas, Claire Keck (winning
Op Ed article), Jocelyn Bent (2nd place speech winner), MISD Superintendent Mr. Orlando
Riddick, Miles Baker (1st place speech winner), Chesley McDonald (Star Leader winner),
Michael Williams and General Tommy Franks.